Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday he would put any peace deal with the Palestinians to a referendum, raising expectations that direct negotiations might soon resume following a two-year stalemate.
Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday the Arab League's acknowledgment that Israelis and Palestinians may have to swap land in any peace deal was "a very big step forward."
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad refused to attend a scheduled meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Palestinians and Israelis celebrating at the same time is a rare occurrence. Their simultaneous elation on Tuesday over a mass prisoner swap is raising a faint glimmer of hope for progress in ending the Middle East conflict.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday accepted a European Union invitation to meet Palestinian leaders in an effort to restart peace talks, his office said in a statement.
Israel's foreign ministry called in the Egyptian ambassador on Friday to stress the importance of the two countries' historic peace accord, an Israeli official said, after Egypt's prime minister said the treaty was not "sacred".
Israel has been working with the United States to develop a new framework to restart peace negotiations with the Palestinians, according to reports.