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The Palestinian Authority is vying with Israel in an effort to win over President Barack Obama before his visit to the region next month.

Senior PA negotiator Saeb Erekat and an associate are flying to Washington this week to make their case that Israel must stop building for Jews in Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem before there can be any direct talks with the Netanyahu government. They also are demanding that Israel release all Palestinian Authority prisoners, including those serving jail terms for deadly terrorist attacks.

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Israeli negotiator Yitzchak Molcho talked with Obama administration officials last week, and National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror is following up with discussion this week.

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