Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is ready to hold direct peace talks with Palestine. He said Israel is open to turning over a key road connecting Ateret and Neveh Tzuf if the Palestinians participate in direct peace negotiations. Israel will still maintain security control over the road but it will be open to Palestinians if peace talks push through. This is the first time that Netanyahu offered a concrete timetable for Israel’s participation in direct talks. However, this does not guarantee that talks are in the offing, especially since U.S. envoy George Mitchell is no longer expected to be in the region this week, according to The Jerusalem Post.