— Less than a month ago, Israel was in Secretary of State John Kerry’s cross hairs, accused of sabotaging the peace process he had championed by continuing construction in West Bank settlements and balking on a promise to release long-serving Palestinian prisoners. But when Israel suspended the stalemated negotiations on Thursday, it did so with Washington’s tacit blessing, providing a fractured government not fully committed to peace a low-risk exit strategy. Frustrated by the impasse in the peace talks, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority has recently played a variety of cards in hopes of improving his position in the negotiating room and on the street. He took steps to join 15 international conventions, threatened to dissolve his government and, finally, made a deal this week with Hamas, the militant Islamic group that is widely reviled in the West. More