Palestinian Pres. Mahmoud Abbas announces he will not seek another term in office. PLO and Fatah officials urge him to reconsider and the US and Israel express concern, while Hamas dismisses the announcement as a ruse. Fawaz Gerges and Daoud Kuttab consider the implications. Several papers question whether this means Abbas will cease to be the Palestinian president and speculate as to potential successors. The UN General Assembly passes a resolution in support of the Goldstone report, but Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman expresses satisfaction at the result. A new State Department report finds that Israel is not a tolerant, pluralistic society. Ghassan Khatib explains that the absence of Abbas could be a serious blow to the peace process.

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