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Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas agreed to meet twice a month, the U.S. secretary of state announced. Condoleezza Rice’s statement Tuesday in Jerusalem followed three days of shuttle diplomacy between the two sides. The scheduled discussions between the Israeli prime minister and Palestinian Authority president could include plans to form a Palestinian state, in addition to discussing everyday details of the two sides’ relationship. Rice said practical issues to be addressed include stopping Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel and improving conditions at Israeli crossing points for Palestinians and their commercial goods.

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