Quartet to convene in D.C.

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Quartet of entities guiding the Israeli-Arab peace process will meet amid signs that the Obama administration is pressing the Israelis and Palestinians back to peace talks.

Representatives of the Quartet — the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations — will convene Monday in Washington.

Top U.S. peace brokers have made frequent visits to the region in recent weeks, with reciprocal visits to Washington by top Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.

The Obama administration wants to head off a Palestinian effort to secure U.N. recognition of statehood absent a renewal of peace talks with Israel.

Palestinian negotiators refuse to return to talks unless Israel freezes settlement building. Israel will not consider talks with the Palestinians unless the Palestinian Authority breaks off its talks with Hamas, and unless the framework of the talks includes recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, an end to refugee claims and a longterm Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley. 

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