Israeli ground forces are poised to invade the Gaza Strip for the first time in almost four years amid efforts by Egypt and Turkey to help end exchanges of fire that have killed 96 Palestinians and three Israelis.
President Barack Obama arrived in the West Bank today to see firsthand if Palestinian leaders still angry over his rejection of their United Nations statehood bid can be persuaded to renew peace talks with Israel.
Palestinian Authority negotiator Nabil Shaath said Palestinians are giving the U.S. time to persuade Israel to resume a building freeze in West Bank settlements that they have said is critical to peace talks.
The Palestinian Authority will push ahead with its bid to get United Nations statehood recognition though it won’t press for an immediate vote as support in the Security Council appeared to be below the needed threshold.
The Arab League backed the Palestinian Authority’s position not to resume direct peace talks until Israel renews a freeze on settlement building, and gave the U.S. more time to revive the peace effort.