Rice to visit Israel, P.A.


Condoleezza Rice will visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The U.S. secretary of state will hold high-level talks in Jerusalem and Ramallah during a July 16-20 trip to the region, Washington officials said over the weekend.

It will be Rice’s first visit since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip last month, triggering a split with P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas’ rival Fatah faction. She is expected to push for more vigorous peace talks between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in a bid to marginalize Hamas.

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