That would mean a prolonged impasse, at least until the next elections in Israel. And for the 75-year-old PA president, it would also deal a blow to his own standing and that of his party in the territories, leading many Palestinians to conclude that Hamas was right and force is the only language Israel understands.

Aware of the huge effort the Islamist group is investing in torpedoing the talks, Abbas told Netanyahu that the PA security forces were doing everything possible to catch the perpetrators of Tuesday’s shooting attack near Hebron…

Another positive development is that, unlike in the past, Israel did not blame the PA for the attacks. On the contrary, Israel holds the PA security forces in high esteem…

Hamas, for its part, is not even trying to hide its intentions. On Thursday, senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar said the group wants to liberate the West Bank just as it liberated the Gaza Strip. That means more attacks in the near future.