Here is what Mahmoud Abbas had to say about the battle aboard the Marmara:
The significance is that this decision was made in advance. They [Israel] wanted to create a confrontation. They did not want to allow [the ships into Gaza], but were determined from the outset to create a confrontation. They had the opportunity yesterday to relate to these people peacefully, because those who came to Gaza are civilians, peace-seeking people, who did not come to attack. They did not come with weapons or with an army. They came with humanitarian aid. Therefore, it was a decision made in advance, premeditated and with determination to kill and to create a confrontation with these people, and to take them all to ports in Israel. Israel always ignores all international norms, all international laws, all humanitarian laws. [Israel] doesn’t care about anything.
If we take Abbas’ last two sentences at face value, it follows that he lacks the confidence in Israel required of a serious “peace partner.” Looking at the rest of this cynical and dishonest statement, it is clear that Israel cannot have the confidence in Abbas required of a serious partner.
UPDATE: Some might say that Abbas had no choice but to make a statement like this in order to maintain his credibility among his constituents. But these same constituents limit what Abbas can agree to with Israel, and what portions, if any, of an agreement he would be able to keep.