Israelis Mark End of West Bank Freeze

Mideast peace talks hit a tipping point on Sunday, as Israel's settlement freeze on the West Bank expired. Jewish settlers celebrated the event, holding a groundbreaking ceremony in the region and vowing to continue building there even as the occasion promised to disrupt the negotations between Israel and Palestine. Right-wing leaders in Israel are now calling upon prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex all the settlements in the West Bank in order to protect them under a possible peace deal. Meanwhile, American officials scrambling to salvage the talks—a key test of Obama's foreign policy prowess—are calling on Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas not to call off the negotiations in response.