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 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.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas won’t walk away from the United Nations General Assembly this month with the sought-after statehood. More likely, he’ll get parity with the world’s smallest state led by Pope Benedict XVI.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ’s decision to consult with other Arab leaders before responding to the end of Israel’s partial freeze on settlement construction buys the U.S. some time to find a formula to keep peace talks alive.