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Palestinians hope President Obama's second term will help bring change

November 7, 2012 |  1:35 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama
RAMALLAH, West Bank — Palestinians expressed hope Wednesday that President Obama’s second term will be more forthcoming than his first one when it comes to resolving their conflict with Israel.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was quick to congratulate Obama on his victory and expressed hope that he will help achieve peace in the Middle East.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said he hoped Obama's second term would see the implementation of a two-state solution. Palestinians also remain determined to become a nonmember state in the United Nations General Assembly, Erekat said.

Analyst Sam Bahour said he expects Obama will have more leverage and face less pressure from lobbying groups in dealing with issues such as conflicts in the Middle East.

"On the one hand, he is more knowledgeable of the issues, and on the other he has to deal with the changing politics in the region, particularly with the emergence of two new powers in the Middle East — Iran and Turkey — which means the U.S. cannot afford to leave a political vacuum that could be filled by either of these two powers," Bahour said.

Palestinians in general do not expect Obama to change his support of Israel, particularly in light of what Bahour described as "a Congress hijacked by the pro-Israel camp."

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-- Maher Abukhater

Photo: President Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington in March. Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

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