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Israelis, Palestinians prepare for next US president

While the Palestinians prepare different strategies depending on the candidate who wins the US election, the Israelis plan to stick with the same approach in either case.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) gestures during his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Jerusalem July 16, 2012. Clinton, arriving in Jerusalem from newly Islamist-controlled Egypt, told a wary Israel on Monday to treat the Arab Spring as an opportunity as well as a source of uncertainty convulsing the Middle East. REUTERS/Abir Sultan/Pool (JERUSALEM - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR34ZPE
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The Palestinian leadership is looking with much anxiety toward 2017. The year is perceived as a time when the patience of its people regarding statehood will run out. It will be 50 years of the occupation, with no end in sight. Internationally, it will be a year dominated by a transition toward a new US administration headed by Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Palestinian US experts are giving thought as to how to interact with Washington in the two possible scenarios.

An official in the entourage of PLO Executive Secretary Saeb Erekat told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that the Palestinian leadership will not agree to restart process talks for a two-state solution, even informally, from any new baseline. “Washington knows our position on all issues, as conveyed to US Secretary of State John Kerry. The PLO will engage in negotiations after a new administration is in place only on the basis of the Arab Peace Initiative, with a settlement freeze and with a prisoner release, as it was related to John Kerry. Whenever a new administration takes over, or whenever there is a new government in Israel, we are asked to start the process anew. That will not be the case this time around.”

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