When Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital it went down like a led balloon amongst Palestinians. There were days of riots and clashes with Israeli Defence Forces on the West Bank and demonstrations in Gaza.

The Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki has indicated the Russians could act as the replacement middlemen. Being honest brokers in a meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister #Benjamin Netanyahu. Riyad al-Maliki hoped any such meeting could take place in Sochi or even Moscow.

Mahmoud Abbas has apparently discussed such a thing in face to face meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Will Netanyahu take part in peace talks?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is indeed a phenomenon of our times.

He has been doing the job of Israeli leader for many years now and is certainly a shrewd operator. Netanyahu is a populist strongman who knows how to whip up the far right in Israel. In his nationalistic politics, he could be compared to Trump, Putin, Modi, Xi, Kim and Duterte to name but a few.

His Likud party sits in government with religious parties and others making up a grand coalition. One of the most controversial cabinet ministers in his administration is Avigdor Lieberman. Lieberman is known for his far-right opinions and controversial statements about the Palestinians.

If Netanyahu did agree to travel to Russia to take part in peace talks would the more extreme elements of his cabinet let him? If they did they would no doubt want something in return from Mr Netanyahu.

Although Mr Netanyahu appears to be a very confident leader he controls a very tenuous cabinet, and as with any government and particularly coalitions, any difference of opinion on issues could bring Netanyahu's government crashing down.

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The US cannot be ignored!

The United States according to the Palestinian Authority will still have a role to play in peace talks. Initially, after Trump's declaration that the US recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital the Palestinians said the US was no longer a peace broker.

It seems amongst people like Mahmoud Abbas and Ryad al-Maliki, however, there has been some review of this thinking. The Palestinians have stated the US cannot be disregarded and would be welcome at any talks hosted by Russia.

Just as Netanyahu needs all sides in his cabinet to be on side for peace talks so would the Palestinians. At the moment it seems relations between Fatah and Hamas are good. Hamas rules its own little fiefdom in Gaza and Fatah holds sway on the West Bank. Both Palestinians and Israelis need to have united fronts if peace talks are to be successful. #Riyad Al Maliki