Peace talks start at Iftar dinner

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israeli and Palestinian negotiators launched peace talks at a Ramadan break-fast dinner at the U.S. State Department.

Attending the Iftar dinner Monday evening were John Kerry, the U.S. secretary of state, Martin Indyk, the newly appointed top U.S. Middle East peace negotiator, Tsipi Livni, the Israeli justice minister, Yitzhak Molcho, a longtime adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saeb Erekat, the top Palestinian negotiator, and Mohammed Shtayyeh, a Palestinian economist.

The talks, which are to continue Tuesday morning, are the first since late 2010 and come after intense lobbying of the sides by Kerry.