Mahmoud Abbas has said if the peace talks collapse it will be Israel’s fault.
The Palestinian president is caught between a rock and a hard place, he too has to convince a fractured community the talks will be worthwhile in the face of the looming threat of resumed settlement expansion.
It is one issue over which ordinary Palestinians want him to stand firm it’s also seen as important for his own credibility.
But he has already agreed to sit at the negotiating table without the prior assurances he had once demanded.
His rhetoric now contains the goal of ending the Israeli occupation and the formation of a viable Palestinian State.
Few in Ramallah seem convinced.
One resident said: “ This scenario has been repeated several times in the past 20 years. Every time we celebrate and then it’s all over.”
Another complained, “Negotiations will not produce anything new – that’s why I’m pessimistic.”
But responding to criticism, Abbas said a peaceful settlement must be worth pursuing .