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Public apathy may help Israeli-Palestinian peace

President Mahmoud Abbas' public concessions to Israel have not stirred grumblings on the Palestinian street, perhaps pointing to an opening to strike a deal.
Palestinian relatives of Ibrahim Mansour, 26, who was killed by Israeli soldiers, react outside a hospital morgue in Gaza City February 13, 2014. Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian and wounded another on Thursday in the Gaza Strip, local hospital officials said. Relatives who rushed to a Gaza City hospital said Mansour was collecting gravel to sell from his donkey cart when he was shot dead. The Israeli military said soldiers fired at Palestinians tampering with Israel's border security fence. R

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators might have stumbled across two powerful weapons that could help them convince their publics to support a compromise peace agreement — political exhaustion and apathy.

While the issues surrounding the peace talks, such as refugees and Jerusalem, are emotional triggers that easily move public opinion, the parties to the decades-old conflict appear to be slogging through a period of political fatigue. Hot button items that would usually bring crowds into the streets and force politicians to backtrack are not producing these effects. 

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