Page one story today from Israel’s leading paper, Yediot:
The Obama administration intends to present Israel and the Palestinians with a new outline for ending the conflict. Yedioth Ahronoth has learned that the Americans will pressure the sides to sign a framework agreement for a final status arrangement within a year — but the agreement would be only implemented within a number of years, apparently up to ten years at the most. The US administration intends to invest all possible efforts to ensure that the direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which will be officially launched next Thursday, will end in an agreement and not in a crisis, as happened in the previous rounds of negotiations. Barack Obama, whose standing in the polls is at a low, very much wants to score a first success in the Middle Eastern arena — in light of the ongoing bloodbath in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For this purpose, the US president intends to become personally involved this time: Director of the Middle East department at the National Security Council Dan Shapiro told leaders of Jewish organizations in the US that Obama intends to visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the course of the coming year. The US president wishes to take advantage of his visit to persuade both peoples to support painful compromises for peace.