The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) move to allow indirect talks with Israel clears the way for the first negotiations in more than a year ahead of Vice President Joseph Biden's arrival in the region later this week.
Tensions between Israel and Palestinians continued to rise Wednesday, following Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to add two West Bank sites to its national heritage list.
Britain 'invited' Israel's ambassador to discuss the apparent use of forged British passports by a hit squad that murdered Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a Hamas official, in Dubai. The assassination scandal recalls tensions from the 1980s, when Margaret Thatcher was furious that Israel's Mossad had used forged British passports.
Evidence mounted on Tuesday that the 11-member assassination team that allegedly killed Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was traveling on fake passports. Suspicion has fallen on Israel and its Mossad intelligence service, which has carried out overseas assassinations in the past.
After blaming Israeli agents for assassinating a Hamas official in Dubai on Friday, Hamas said it too could broaden the conflict beyond Israel and Gaza. But analysts are doubtful Hamas can pull it off.
Some say the PLO's move Wednesday to allow Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to stay in office beyond January was aimed at salvaging the PLO's legitimacy. Hamas rejects the extension.
Al Jazeera ran a scathing parody of the Palestinian national anthem on a program to show how divided society has become.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in France on Wednesday, as President Nicolas Sarkozy's government wonders if Israel is interested in peacemaking with the Palestinians.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says he won't run for reelection, complaining of Israel settlement growth, insufficient US support, and domestic criticism.
Fatah agreed Wednesday to an Egyptian-backed deal, but tension over the Goldstone report and deep distrust have left many skeptical.