If the building blocks of the Palestinian state-in-waiting are allowed to fall apart, the prospects for peace will collapse, too.
The former president met with Israeli settlers as well as top Hamas leaders on a week-long tour of the region that wrapped up Tuesday in Gaza.
Some see the Israeli prime minister's demand that Arabs recognize Israel as a Jewish state as a simple quid pro quo, but critics say it's a new obstacle.
But a future Palestine must be 'demilitarized,' and the Jewish settlements won't be halted, Israel's leader says.
Palestinian negotiator Erekat calls it a 'slap in the face,' while the White House calls the speech 'an important step forward.'
The Israeli leader is not likely to suggest radical changes in dealing with Palestinians, analysts say.
Forced to rebuild using mud and animal-drawn carts, Gazans are increasingly frustrated with Hamas's hard-line policies.
Israeli restrictions and dependence on foreign aid have stifled the all-important business sector.