Until now, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, has resolutely refused all negotiations with Israel until it stops building Jewish settlements for 12 months, including in East Jerusalem.

But Abbas seems to have lowered his ceiling of demands for resuming peace talks with Israel under the current situation.

He told a British newspaper that he would return to direct talks if Israel halted building for three months.

He repeated his new position at a press conference in Berlin, adding that he was also against armed resistance.

But why is Abbas backtracking now? And will it get results?

Inside Story presenter Shiulie Ghosh is joined by Manuel Hassassian, the PLO's ambassador to the UK, Professor Shmuel Sandler, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Bar Ilan University, and Ali Abunimah, the co-founder of electronicintifada.net, and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse.

This episode of Inside Story aired on Wednesday, February 3, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera