There is no prospect of a two-state solution, and even Mahmoud Abbas knows it. For one thing, Abbas cannot even set foot in Gaza -- and neither can anyone from the Fatah movement in the West Bank. Fatah men in the Strip get killed every day. Gaza is Hamas territory, and an agreement with Israel is anathema to its loyalists. An agreement with the Abbas Palestinians is anathema to the Hamastan faithful, for that matter, as well.

So Abbas and his men have been canoodling about a one-and-a-half-state solution, leaving out Gaza entirely. They are about to dissolve the Palestine Legislative Council and reconfigure its membership into the West Bank parliament. From that follows a West Bank government that would be willing to negotiate with Israel. This is outlined in a story by Khlaed Abu Toameh in today's Jerusalem Post, "PLO to form separate West Bank parliament."

Willing to negotiate, yes. Willing and able to make real compromises, I doubt it.