Abbas aide: Palestinians don't expect change in US Mideast policy
A senior aide to President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday he did not expect the outcome of the US mid-term congressional elections to affect the Middle East peace process, DPA reported.
"We will continue to work with the US administration as before," Yasser Abed Rabbo told Voice of Palestine Radio from Kuwait, where he was traveling with Abbas.
The Palestinians, he said, "are not affected by the results of these elections."
He nonetheless charged Israel might "use the results to undermine negotiations" and expand its settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokesman, Mark Regev, and Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor did not comment on the vote.
But a senior Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity to Israel Army Radio, expressed hope the result would ease US pressure on Israel, not least on the issue of settlement construction.
"The fact that Obama lost the majority in the House of Representatives will play into Israel's hands," said the official, adding Israel would be better able to confront him and use Republican support to resist White House demands.
Abbas' main, radical Islamist rival, the Hamas movement in de- facto control of Gaza, said the results would make no difference, since, it alleged, both parties had a pro-Israel bias.
"We don't differentiate between the Democrats or the Republicans, mainly regarding their strategy towards the question of Palestine," a spokesman in Gaza, Ismail Radwan, told the German Press Agency dpa.
"The foreign policy is one policy which aids and supports the Zionist occupation and denies the just Palestinian cause," he said.