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Palestinians prepare 'diplomatic intifada'

With Israel preoccupied with elections and the Arab world preoccupied with fighting the Islamic State, the Palestinians feel sidelined and are looking to launch a "diplomatic intifada."
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attend a Gaza reconstruction conference in Cairo October 12, 2014. Egypt, which brokered a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza after a 50-day war, used a reconstruction conference in Cairo on Sunday to call for a wider peace deal based on a 2002 Arab initiative.  REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR49UU5

Palestinians have always felt like the forgotten and neglected party in the Middle East — not a state, occupied by Israel and sidelined by the Arabs. Abu Alaa (Ahmed Qurei), the former Palestinian prime minister and chief negotiator of the 1993 Oslo Accord, recited once in Oslo an Indian poem: "I am alone, you are alone, let's be alone together."

Well, 21 years later, Palestinians and Israelis still sense their isolation but separately. On this note, a senior Fatah official in Ramallah told Al-Monitor that the Palestinian leadership feels completely sidelined these days, both in the region and within the international community: "In Israel, the Palestinian issue is the forgotten issue of the elections, even by the left, and in the United States, there seems to be little political will to engage on permanent status after the elections. Meanwhile, the European Union is too weak to move alone on Palestinian statehood and the Arab countries are focusing almost solely on the challenges that the Islamic State [IS] poses to them in the wars in Syria and Iraq as well as the Iranian challenge."

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