US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) is greeted by Palestinian Ambassador to Jordan Attallah Khairy, outside the Palestinian Ambassadors Residence in Amman where he will meet with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas for talks on the Middle East peace process, as crunch decisions loom in the coming days on March 26, 2014.
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met for the second time on Monday with an American mediator to try and salvage the peace talks that nearly came to a screeching halt late last week.
Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that the week had been a "reality check" for the peace negotiations and that the U.S. would reevaluate its role as moderator. Secretary Kerry was instrumental in prompting the two sides to restart negotiations last summer.
U.S. efforts to extend the talks past a late April deadline were shattered after Israel failed to carry out the last phase of a planned release of 104 long-held Palestinian prisoners, while the Palestinians said they would suspend a campaign to sign up Palestine, recognized by the U.N. General Assembly as a non-member observer state in 2012, for as many as 63 U.N. agencies, treaties and conventions.
Abbas then signed letters of accession for 15 international conventions, after which Israel said the final prisoner release was off the table. Kerry originally hoped for a peace deal by April 29 but that is looking increasingly unlikely.
What will get both sides back on the correct negotiating track? Should the U.S. continue in its role as moderator? What are the possible outcomes if neither side is willing to compromise?
With files from the Associated Press.
Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of The Palestine Center
Neri Zilber, visiting fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy