After a push by Secretary of State John Kerry, Israel and Palestine have agreed to resume peace negotiations for the first time in three years.
The talks will begin this Monday evening in Washington and will be between top advisers to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (pictured above). While experts are skeptic that the talks will result in any meaningful progress, the resumption of negotiations marks a rare victory in the Obama administrations Middle Eastern policy.
"Both leaders have demonstrated a willingness to make difficult decisions that have been instrumental in getting to this point. We are grateful for their leadership," Kerry said in a statement today.
The two countries agreed to resume negotiations after Israel agreed to release 104 Palestinian prisoners. The hurdles that the two nations would have to clear to agree on peace terms remain daunting. Negotiations broke down in 2010 over Israeli construction in the West Bank and the unresolved status of the Gaza Strip.
While the talks are preliminary, if progress is made, President Obama will most likely become involved in yet another push for peace between nations that have been at conflict for over six decades.