In a push for progress, three heavy hitters from the administration – Mitchell, Gates, and Jones – visited the region this week.
During Mitchell's visit, activists set up 11 outposts. A report said the number of Israelis living in the West Bank has surpassed 300,000.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates reassured Israelis that the offer to talk to Tehran isn't open-ended, but some caution that Obama's basic policy on the issue has not changed.
In Syria, Mitchell said peace between Israel and Syria was a 'near-term goal.' Syrian, Israeli, Egyptian, and Palestinian leaders are meeting with the special envoy, who will be joined by Defense Secretary Gates and other high-level US officials.
The move to prevent Israeli Arab students from being taught that the creation of Israel was a 'catastrophe' for Palestinians reverses a 2007 decision.
It is reportedly planning to dismantle the outposts in a single day to minimize the violence and bad PR that marred the last major evacuation, in 2006.
The Israeli prime minister airs a US demand to halt building in E. Jerusalem, where US bingo magnate's hotel is slated for conversion into 20 Jewish apartments.
The Obama administration has made firm demands for Israel to halt all settlement expansion. But political officers are making trips to talk with settlers directly.