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Palestinian leadership, for now, immune to normalization deals

Financial incentives might be provided to the Palestinian Authority following the normalization deals between the UAE-Bahrain and Israel, however no change is in sight without a full Palestinian consensus.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas speaks in the West Bank's Ramallah on September 3, 2020, as he meets by video conference with representatives of Palestinian factions gathered at the Palestinian embassy in Beirut in rare talks on how to respond to such accords and to a Middle East peace plan announced by Washington this year. (Photo by Alaa BADARNEH / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ALAA BADARNEH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

In normal times, persistent pressure and the combined use of carrots and sticks generally softens most political leaders. But when dealing with a decades-long conflict like the Palestinian-Israeli one and with a stubborn leader like President Mahmoud Abbas, pressure often produces the opposite results.

The Palestinian leader’s position appears to have surprised the US president and his inner circle. Speaking to reporters Sept. 16, President Donald Trump revealed his financial pressure tactics toward the Palestinians. He bragged about his cutting off $750 million of annual support to Palestinians while pressuring Arab countries to follow suit.

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