President Obama out front.(Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)

• This week’s generally successful direct talks perhaps above all represented the United States—and particularly President Obama—showing how powerful it remains. [Politico]

• Speaking of which, the United States is reportedly pressuring President Abbas not to leave the talks even should West Bank building start up when the freeze expires later this month. [Haaretz]

• Meanwhile, the problem with Hamas’ attacks (and pledged attacks), beyond them themselves, is that they represent broader division among the Palestinian people over the attractiveness of peace talks, including among Palestinian Authority leadership. [WSJ]

• Want your West Bank microcosm? It’s Hebron. [LAT]

• Influential columnist Ari Shavit asks whether we should be aiming for an interim deal rather than a comprehensive, final one. [Haaretz]

• Four Orthodox members of a Shomrim Patrol were shot last night in Boro Park; all survived. [NYT]