U.S. Scrambles -- Again -- to Prevent Collapse of Mideast Peace Talks

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"But none of this augurs particularly well for the future of this process, because if the two sides aren't prepared to give one another the benefit of the doubt on an issue like this, and if they're this mistrustful, you have to wonder will they be able to work through issues like Jerusalem, borders, security, and refugees," he said.

"I think this is indicative of the 'same old, same old' approach being taken, which itself is ultimately doomed," said Daniel Levy, a former Israeli negotiator and now at the New America Foundation in Washington. "Whether we get past this moment or not, ultimately the success will depend on a restructuring of this."

Levy said neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians have shown the will needed to strike a deal on their own. Rather, he believes it will take a stronger American hand to push the parties across the finish line.

"This may not bring you down, but getting past it doesn't mean we're in a great place," he said of the current impasse.

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