Most Palestinians are sceptical Tuesday's Annapolis peace conference can speed the creation of a state of their own but many still hope it may lead to improvements in living conditions and security.Israel has been the one bending over backward to accomodate these people and like we said, nothing they say or do will ever satisfy their enemies.
Officials and analysts said the attendance of fellow Arabs including Saudi Arabia and Syria at the talks near Washington would also bolster Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas and help isolate his militant domestic opponents like Hamas.
"The Palestinians are under no illusion that the peace process to be launched at Annapolis will lead to much progress on the peace front because Israel has not shown seriousness in reaching agreement until now," said analyst Abdel-Majod Sweilem.
"But there is a belief the year that will follow Annapolis, during which negotiations will take place, may lead to some kind of temporary halt to the deterioration in the economy and internal security."
Chief among aspirations for Palestinian voters are economic growth and freedom of movement, both of which they see hampered by Israeli security measures. They also want to see Israel meet commitments to stop Jewish settlement and confiscating land.
By the same token, Hamas and other opponents who have condemned Abbas for even talking to Israel, stand to make political gains at his expense if Israel fails to take steps to improve daily life immediately after Annapolis, analysts say.
"If people don't feel the difference after Annapolis, the opposition will be given ammunition against Abbas' policies," analyst Ali Jarbawi said.
But he doubted Hamas had the strength to seize power in the larger, Israeli-occupied West Bank as it did in the Gaza Strip in June: "I don't believe they will have enough ammunition to change the status quo in the West Bank as they did in Gaza. Abbas' legitimacy is intact because there is no alternative."
Israel Matzav has more on Annapolis.