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Israel on Nobel Peace Prize: Hopes for progress

Israeli and Palestinian officials both had praise for President Obama, despite disappointment in peace process

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Top Israeli and Palestinian government officials both had words of praise for President Barack Obama following the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize. The well-wishers included Israeli President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

But Obama's efforts to push a comprehensive peace between Israelis and Arabs is still a work in progress, and many in both the Palestinian and Israeli camps have been disappointed as Obama has, so far, fallen short of expectations.

Israel Radio political commentator Yaron Dekel noted that the excitement from Mr. Obama's address to the Arab world in Cairo has long dissipated, and Israelis and Palestinians are not rushing to the negotiations table.

"Almost nine months of pregnancy at the White House has not given birth to one peace or any [significant] progress under the inspiration of American president," he said. "Whoever had hope that President Obama would lead a military operation against Tehran, today those hopes have evaporated. A Noble Peace Prize laureate doesn't rush into to any war."

Right-wing politicians in Netanyahu's Likud Party worried that the prize would ratchet up pressure on Obama to force Israel into making risky concessions for peace.


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