(photo credit: Associated Press)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu began choosing the members of Israel's negotiating team, as American diplomat Dennis Ross arrived in Israel on Thursday to discuss the beginning of direct talks with the Palestinians.
US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton reportedly sent Ross to Israel in order to settle the issue of the West Bank building freeze.
Netanyahu began putting together a delegation for talks with the Palestinians on Thursday evening, which will be directly supervised by the prime minister.
The team's goal will be to conduct negotiations quickly and thoroughly.
Advisers Yitzhak Molcho, Ron Dermer and Uzi Arad, as well as military
adviser Yohanan Loker, are expected to help Netanyahu pick a small
group of negotiators that will go to Washington on September 2, the
opening date for direct talks. Molcho will head the team, and the
foreign ministry will be represented by diplomat Yaakov Hadas.
Netanyahu asked the Defense Ministry's delegation in Washington to
coordinate his visit after the Committee for Foreign Ministry Employees
announced they would boycott the prime minister's visit at the embassy.