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Will Abbas’ foes thwart his chances for success at Trump meeting?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has strenuously lobbied President Donald Trump on behalf of the Palestinians, but his rival Marwan Barghouti and Hamas are trying to sabotage his efforts.
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In response to imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti’s call for a Day of Rage, Palestinian youths demonstrated and rioted on May 19 throughout the West Bank and in Gaza near the border with Israel.

“Two forces in the hard-core opposition to [Palestinian President] Mahmoud Abbas bear responsibility for the deaths of the two Palestinians killed last week and dozens more, who were injured during demonstrations in the territories on the Day of Rage, in solidarity with the prisoners on hunger strike,” an Israeli security official told Al-Monitor, speaking on the condition of anonymity. He cast the blame squarely on Barghouti, who initiated a hunger strike by hundreds of Fatah prisoners being held by Israel, and on the Hamas movement. He claims that each individually and both together wanted to challenge the Palestinian president and make as much trouble as possible for him just before US President Donald Trump pays an official visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) May 22-23.

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