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• Secretary of State John Kerry has made intense efforts to re-start the talks between Israelis and Palestinians on a two-state solution

• The two sides agreed to face-to-face talks in July 2013

• Israel agreed to release a number of Palestinian prisoners

• The Palestinian side agreed not to continue the drive for immediate recognition as a state or to seek legal redress against Israel for alleged war crimes

• Despite the talks, settlement construction in the Occupied Territories has continued

• There have been sporadic rocket attacks from Gaza; Palestinian officials claim that 57 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces since the latest round of talks began

• The US set a deadline of the end of April 2014 for the two sides to agree a framework for settlement

• There has been little sign of progress in the talks

• The talks may collapse because the Israelis might not release the last tranche of Palestinian prisoners

• They may reach the deadline with no successful outcome

• The US administration is trying to persuade the Palestinian side to extend the deadline

• There are plenty of obstacles to any progress

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