Peres Ponders a Three-Way Race for Prime Minister

After the Knesset voted early Tuesday morning not to dissolve, the special Israeli election for prime minister only appeared to come down to a race between incumbent Ehud Barak and Likud chairman Ariel Sharon. But prominent dove Shimon Peres looked at his numbers in the polls and announced on Wednesday he plans to run as well, adding more pressure on Barak to seal a quick peace deal in renewed talks with the Palestinians.

Marathon Talks Off and Running

After Prime Minister Ehud Barak gave his approval, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators launched an intense round of peace talks in Sinai on Sunday to try to reach a framework agreement before the February 6 election in Israel. Barak is playing down expectations and blaring his "red lines" to Israeli voters, but his negotiating team seemed a bit surprised by the Palestinian side's sudden willingness to quickly ink an accord.

Oslo On the Line at Sharm E-Sheikh Summit Tomorrow

In a decisive showdown in the Sinai on Monday, key regional and world leaders will goad Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PLO chief Yasser Arafat to meet face-to-face to discuss terms for ending the lethal Palestinian uprising over the past two weeks. There appears to be little reason for optimism that a truce can be concluded quickly, or that the Oslo peace process can be revived anytime soon.

Netanyahu on Track for Rematch with Barak

Friends and even foes of former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are smoothing the way for him to timely mount a challenge against current premier Ehud Barak in a special election in early February. The remaining quandry, however, is whether the Knesset also will dissolve itself and allow voters to truly reflect the huge rightward shift in Israeli public opinion caused by Camp David and the Palestinian uprising.