The New York Times revealed that US President Barack Obama plans to plunge back into the effort, his advisers said this week, starting with an urgent appeal to “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to the officials, when Obama receives Netanyahu to the White House on Monday, he will press him to agree to a framework for a conclusive round of “Israeli”-Palestinian Authority negotiations that is being drafted by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Later in March, Obama is likely to meet with the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to make the same pitch.
The goal, officials said, is to announce the framework, a kind of road map for further talks, by the end of April, the nine-month deadline that Kerry set last summer for a final deal between “Israel” and the Palestinian Authority.
For Obama, the decision to thrust himself into the talks is fraught with risk.
Since his re-election, Obama has left the “Israeli”-Palestinian issue almost entirely to Kerry, who has made nearly a dozen trips to the region and holding countless meetings with Netanyahu and Abbas.
“Now is a very timely opportunity for him to get involved,” a senior official said of Obama, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the issue.