Abu Mazen’s interview on ABC’s This Week program focused on his call for the Hamas terror group to renounce violence, going so far as to say he believes the era of suicide bombings "has ended." The PLO chairman’s language, however, highlighted the fact that he sees such a move as desirable on a tactical level, but not reflective of a rejection of terrorism as a threat.
The official PA website, wrote that Abu Mazen "warned that if progress toward a peace agreement was not achieved in meetings with Sharon next month, ‘despair and loss of hope will come back and a return to the old ideas’ of armed resistance.”
"The climate right now is ready for political negotiations," Abu Mazen said through an interpreter. "Hamas should reach that conclusion, that now the way is the political way and not any other way."
Despite the period of recent "calm," Israeli forces thwart terror attacks almost daily, while rockets and mortar shells continue to be fired at Jewish communities on both sides of the Green Line.
Critics of Abu Mazen have warned that he has never fundamentally abandoned terror, but rather feels only that at the present point in time he can get more by talking than by shooting.