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.
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.
Frederic C. Hof, author of a March report suggesting an environmental preserve and other initiatives in the disputed Golan Heights, is meeting with Israeli officials.
In talks in London Monday, Israel's defense minister said the two sides had made progress, but still had 'a way to go.'
Nablus residents wonder whether the change means Israel is serious about peace or is simply an effort to placate the Obama administration.
Peace envoy's trip is part of sweeping effort to demonstrate a broader US approach toward regional peace.
Syrian diplomats say Damascus is serious about making peace, and hope Washington will lean on Israel's new government.
The hawkish prime minister, who presented his new government Tuesday, shows a distinct change in style and tactics – though not substance – since his 1996-99 term.