'Mahmoud Abbas Saved Israel From Israel'
Israel needs to thank Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas for making a unity deal with Hamas, analyst and Attorney Yoram Sheftel told Arutz Sheva on Friday.
"The reconciliation agreement between the head of the Fatah murderers Abbas and the head of the Hamas murderers (Ismail) Haniyeh saved us. Without this reconciliation agreement, who knows what kind of situation we would have entered?" said Sheftel.
Sheftel notes that in the last seven years there have been at least four declarations of unity between Abbas's Fatah movement and Hamas, but nothing came of them.
"But this time, the timing of the declaration comes to signal that Abbas doesn't really have any intentions of holding sane peace talks with Israel, and that his goal is just to extort more and more concessions and terrorist releases from jail," argued Sheftel.
A senior PA official admitted as far back as last November that the PA is only staying in the talks to release terrorists; up to now Israel has freed a total of 78 terrorists as "gestures" to keep the talks going.
While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared Thursday night that he will not negotiate with the PA as long as it is part of a unity government with Hamas, Sheftel expressed doubts as to Netanyahu's ability to stand up to international pressure.
"Disastrously, Netanyahu was fundamentally ready, maybe with small changes, to follow the path of (US Secretary of State John) Kerry's plan, until the Arab enemy arrived and saved us from ourselves," remarked Sheftel.
"Now even Netanyahu isn't ready to continue this game; I just hope it lasts, because we heard (Labor party head Yitzhak) Herzog blame Netanyahu for the failure of the talks and the unity deal," concluded the attorney.