U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry surprised many this past Friday when he announced a possible return to peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, but Secretary Kerry acknowledged there is still work to do to finalize the talks.
The negotiations could take place in Washington, D.C. as early as this week, but both Israelis and Palestinians expressed doubt that peace talks between the two would resume.
Among the sticking points, the Palestinians are insisting on Israel withdrawing settlers from disputed territories and re-establishing the borders that were in place in 1967. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to negotiate with the 1967 borders as a base-line for a Palestinian state.
"This is a very, very tough nut to crack, and I don't see it being easily managed at this time given the politics of the situation on both sides," said Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Edward Walker.
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he has yet to receive an invitation to come to Washington for the talks.
John Kerry has made six trips to the Middle East in his first six months at the State Department, and many in Washington say he has been singularly focused on the issue since becoming Secretary of State.