Obama to visit Israel in fresh peace push


President Barack Obama plans to visit Israel, the West Bank and Jordan this spring, the White House said yesterday, raising the prospects of a fresh American push to restart long-stalled Israel-Palestinian peace efforts.

Mr Obama’s trip, his first to Israel since taking office, signalled that he intends to make the volatile Middle East – where Iran remains locked in a nuclear standoff with the West and Syria is caught up in a bloody civil war – a top priority in his second term.

While the White House gave no exact dates for the trip, Israel’s Channel 10 television station cited unnamed sources in Washington saying Mr Obama would visit the Jewish state on March 20th.