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The new talks could also sharpen the differences in Mr. Netanyahu’s fractious ruling coalition. Some analysts have suggested they potentially could force the prime minister to change its makeup to exclude some of the more hard-line members in favor of moderates, such as his rivals from the opposition Kadima party.

In a key test, an Israeli slowdown on settlement construction in the West Bank is set to expire next month, and some of the coalition’s hawkish members have said the government’s stability will be threatened if Israeli construction in the West Bank does not resume in full.

“If you start negotiations, unconditional negotiations, one cannot accept a condition that the freeze should continue,” Cabinet Minister Uzi Landau of the hard-line Yisrael Beitenu said Sunday.

Mr. Erekat, the Palestinian negotiator, said that if the slowdown ends, Israel “will have closed the door to negotiation.”

In the West Bank, papers greeted the new talks with pessimism. “Direct talks destined for failure before being launched because of Israeli hardening on continuation of settlement building,” read a headline Sunday in the daily Al-Ayam, which is linked closely to the Palestinian government.

In Israel, the news of the renewal of peace talks was greeted with scant interest. One leading daily paper, Maariv, mentioned it Sunday only on Page 10.

One commentator, Nahum Barnea of the daily Yediot Ahronot, wrote that after 17 years of peace talks interspersed with violence, Israelis had little optimism left.

“We’ve seen that movie. We’ve seen it again and again and again. It is hard to believe that this time it is going to have a happy end,” he wrote.