SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — Under pressure to compromise, Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Tuesday dug into the central issues blocking a peace deal, but the latest talks produced no visible progress on the divisive issue of Jewish settlements.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held an extra, unscheduled session with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, but there was no word on signs of a breakthrough. After the leaders’ first meeting at this Red Sea resort, U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell offered reporters a mildly positive assessment.

Mitchell said the core issues in the peace process were discussed, but all sides agreed not to reveal which ones and with what results.

The leaders move on to the holy city of Jerusalem for more discussions today. The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest issues dividing the two sides. Israel claims the undivided city as its capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern part to be the capital of an eventual state.


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