Source Pravda.Ru

Abbas Is Disappointed in American Administration

Tuesday Israel inaugurated a car crossing point for its Arab citizens to trade and travel in the northern West Bank more easily.

Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair hailed the crossing at Jalame as a boost to the Palestinian economy.

The expanded crossing near Jenin in the northern West Bank is expected to allow through several hundred cars per day, shortening the journey time into the Israeli-occupied territory for Israeli Arabs, a defence official said.

The new car crossing is expected to be used by Israeli Arabs who live in areas near the northern West Bank, the spokesman said. Israel has 1.5 million Arab citizens who make up 20 percent of the population, Reuters report.

In the meantime, Abbas, 74, announced last week that he would not seek re-election in a ballot scheduled for January. One of the main reasons he gave was a profound sense of betrayal by the U.S. administration after Obama dialed back the pressure on Israel for a full settlement freeze.

"We had high hopes in President Obama -- they had a very clear attitude on settlements --but it turned out that the American administration favored Israel," Abbas declared.

Abbas had understood from Obama that he would force Israel to stop all settlement construction and then launch peace talks. The Palestinian leader believed the policy would push Netanyahu into a corner and possibly even topple his Likud-led government for one more likely to cut a deal with the Palestinians.

Taking his cue from Obama, Abbas made a full freeze of settlement construction a precondition for talks, Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports.

Meranwhile, just over a week ago, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his efforts to bring about a resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians.

On Monday, the Americans ensured that Netanyahu met U.S. President Barack Obama behind closed doors, with no news conference and no photographed handshakes at the door with his host either prior to or after the meeting.

In the eyes of Israeli analysts, the Obama administration is about to change its mindset on the Middle East issues, though still at a loss of where they are exactly heading, Xinhua reports.