Palestinians And Israel To Begin Direct Peace Talks

09.02.10 | FL News Team

(Washington, DC)  --  It's a big day in the nation's capital as Middle East peace talks take place at the State Department.  Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are set to engage in direct talks for the first time in nearly two years.

Leading up to today's meeting, Palestinians had threatened to pull out of the talks unless Israel agreed to extend a moratorium on new housing starts in the occupied West Bank.  The moratorium is set to expire on September 26th.  

Things got even more complicated yesterday when Hamas took responsibility for the deaths of four Jewish settlers in the West Bank.  Despite the bloodshed, President Obama stuck to plans to host Netanyahu, Abbas, King Abdullah of Jordan, and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at a dinner at the White House last night.