Reform in the midst of crisis

It was late January 2005 in Palestine and Mahmoud Abbas had just been elected president on a platform of peace. The Arafat era, which ended with the death of the Palestinian leader in November 2004, seemed to recede into a forgettable past even faster than expected. The ruinous second intifada (2000-04) had run out of steam even before that. The new Palestinian president laid out a vision of reconciliation among his people and a negotiated peace with Israel. After years of repression, bloodshed

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