Rice lands in Israel, says she sees difficulties in ME peace process

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has begun her latest round of Mideast shuttle diplomacy. Rice landed in Israel on Monday for two days of talks with the Israelis and Palestinians. She acknowledged it will be difficult to reach a year-end target for a peace deal, but said the two sides and the US remain committed to that goal. Rice is making her seventh trip to the region since peace talks were relaunched last November. She says she will press the parties to secure even small, incremental steps and not dwell on producing documents that demonstrate partial progress. There has been speculation the Bush administration wants the Israelis and Palestinians to sign an interim statement before the UN General Assembly meets in New York in late September, but Rice suggested that was unlikely.