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.
At the UN Tuesday, Obama appeared to drop his demand that Israel freeze settlement growth as a precondition to negotiations by calling on it to “restrain” activity instead.
After trilateral meetings Tuesday, Obama said he would continue to push Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Critics say it is a waste of time, others say US pressure is the only hope for reigniting the peace talks.
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.
Growth driven less by ideology than by middle-class economics could strain peace talks.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Sunday that Palestinians would reject anything rival Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas agrees to during this week's talks with President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Across the Middle East, what would never happen in polite company now appears on broadcasts of The Doha Debates – discussion of controversy.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US envoy George Mitchell failed to agree on a settlement freeze Tuesday, saying they would meet again Wednesday.