Warning Signs

Abbas Won't Seek Re-Election, Halts Peace Talks

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced Thursday that he wouldn't seek reelection, endangering hopes of progress in Middle East peace talks. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent visit to the area sparked Palestinian ire when she applauded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's promise to slow down, but not halt, the building of settlements in the West Bank. The move portends bad news for the Obama administration, which had pledged to redouble peace efforts in the region. It could also lead voters come election time to lean toward Hamas, which the U.S. defines as a terrorist organization. Clinton vowed to continue to work with Abbas, no matter his title or position.