Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he meets Palestinian businessmen at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
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As Israel frets about the lifting of sanctions on Iran and its troubled relations with the European Union, on the other side of the Middle East conflict – the Palestinians – an uneasy quiet has fallen that speaks of ideas running out.Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, elected to a four-year term 11 years ago this month, rarely appears in public. His pledge to hold a congress of his Fatah party to elect new leaders has repeatedly been put off. Hopes that the French would usher through a new U.N. resolution on Palestinian statehood have not come to fruition, even if discussion on the subject continues.The political sclerosis comes at a time of stepped up Palestinian-Israeli violence, with 25 Israelis and a U.S. citizen killed in stabbings, shootings and car rammings over the past four months. In the same period, 155 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces.
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