Indeed, after years of celebrating suicide attackers as heroes, Palestinians are souring on suicide-bombings like the one last weekend, which emboldens many of them to question whether strikes at Israel will hasten their goal of establishing an independent state. It's a shift many link to the election of Mr. Abbas - a vocal critic of the militarization of the Palestinian uprising - as well as the emerging détente with Israel.
Amid Israeli outrage and international affront in the wake of the attack, Abbas called the perpetrators mukharebin, Arabic for saboteurs, and a term which observers said has never before been applied to suicide bombers.
While I'm far too cynical and jaded to believe that the tide has turned in favour of peace in the sunnier climes, I can still hope.
How amazing would it be if we could look back on 2005 as the year freedom and peace germinated in the ME.
V: O Lord, let thy mercy be showed upon us.
R: As we do put our trust in thee.