US solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reportedly include UN administration of Jerusalem's holy sites and no right of return for Palestinian refugees.
But Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's surprise move, some say, could pressure Palestinian rivals Fatah and Hamas to reach an agreement in Cairo.
On Syria, Iran, and a Palestinian state, Israel's new leadership disagrees with the Obama administration.
Without a shift in the Israeli policy that doesn’t allow building materials into Gaza, much of the $2.8 billion that Palestinians hope to raise at a donors’ conference Monday will be limited to humanitarians needs.
The US envoy arrives at a time when Israelis and Palestinians seem most absorbed with fixing their own houses before dealing with their neighbors.
Officials have pledged to rebuild the coastal enclave.
On Thursday he named George Mitchell as a special envoy, and he has already signaled that the US will reengage the region.
In Israel, the media focused on possible breakthroughs in which the US played no role, highlighting low expectations for Rice's trip.
A Yemeni initiative aims to start a dialogue between the rival factions, a prospect that both Israel and the US have advised against.
Israel agreed Sunday to dismantle 50 West Bank roadblocks after talks with Secretary of State Rice.