The author examines the steps taken by the new administration to resolve the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The search for a solution requires dealing with many players with conflicting interests and contradictory agendas. President Obama's relaunch of the Middle East peace process soon ran into problems. His two-state solution was not endorsed by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until June 2009. President Obama's early call for a settlement freeze in the occupied territories was hailed by the Palestinians, but US envoy George Mitchell was able to get Netanyahu to agree only to a partial freeze, which was rejected by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Obama's subsequent retreat on a settlement freeze shocked the Palestinians, who refused to start the peace talks.

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