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Mideast peace negotiators

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Penpix of the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators who will head the resumption of Middle East peace talks in Jerusalem on Wednesday (in alphabetical order):

Saeb Erakat

The veteran Palestinian negotiator has been part of every team to negotiate with Israel since 1991, with the notable exception of those who secretly hammered out the 1993 Oslo Accords. Born in east Jerusalem, the 58-year-old academic was close to the late Yasser Arafat, historic leader of the Palestinian national movement. In 2009 he was elected to the central committee of the Fatah wing of Mahmud Abbas's Palestinian Authority and to the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation. A former journalist with the independent daily Al-Quds in east Jerusalem, Erakat holds a BA and an MA in Political Science from the University of San Francisco. Erakat has written a dozen books and lives in the West Bank oasis town of Jericho.

Tzipi Livni

Israel's justice minister was appointed chief peace negotiator in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government earlier this year. The 55-year-old Tel Aviv-born politician broke off from Netanyahu's rightwing Likud party in 2005, and campaigned with new movement HaTnuah in the last round of elections for renewal of peace talks with the Palestinians. Livni worked for four years as an undercover spy in the Mossad foreign intelligence agency. The vegetarian mother-of-two is the daughter of Polish-born Eitan Livni, who directed operations for the Irgun, the hardline nationalist group that battled British rule before Israel's creation in 1948.

Yitzhak Molcho

The longtime adviser to Netanyahu is an experienced negotiator who met Arafat in Gaza during the prime minister's first term in office in 1996. Molcho, a lawyer, also met US officials soon after Barack Obama was first elected US president in an attempt to negotiate a freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank -- the issue over which the last talks with the Palestinians broke down in 2010.

Mohammad Shtayyeh

Erakat's number two in the current talks took part in 1991 negotiations and has met US and Israeli officials in initial meetings between the two sides. He was dean of Birzeit University in the West Bank, and a former Palestinian Authority housing minister. The British-educated economist is in charge of the Islamic Development Bank's Palestinian branch, and hails from the West Bank town of Nablus.

jad/tl

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130813/mideast-peace-negotiators