Hamas agreed 'in principle' to an Egyptian proposal Monday that would give Palestinians a united front in peace talks with Israel.
A rarity in the mideast, the political show spares no one – but even President Mahmoud Abbas is chuckling.
Palestinian polls show Abbas gaining significant support in recent months over Hamas, which harshly criticized his willingness to meet the Israeli leader without a settlement freeze in place.
A majority of Israelis support a two-state solution, including steps such as a settlement freeze.
The Geneva Initiative, a group of prominent Israelis and Palestinians, on Tuesday presented a blueprint for comprehensive peace. Next step: public debate.
The respected delegation, headed by former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, irked Israel by initially planning to meet Hamas in Gaza. That trip has been delayed.
The mainline Palestinian party elected a new guard in its first leadership vote in 20 years, revamping a council whose youngest member was 70.
On Tuesday, the Palestinian president convened his party's first congress since 1989 to strengthen its position in negotiations with Israel, Hamas.
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.