That Palestinians get a little bit more normal life will be good, but there are unbalanced elements in Rice letter. Strenghtening Abbas forces shows that the US still thinks it can suppress Hamas by force (instead of listening to the democratically elected government). I do not read a demand on Israel to respond to the cease fire and to stop military actions. Palestinians are forced to accept Quartet principles, but there is no demand on Israel to accept the Arab Initiative (which is basically nothing more than executing UN resolutions). Shalit and Johnson must be freed, but what about the dozens of Palestinian ministers and parliament members which Israel holds? Such an unbalanced approach is not a contribution to peace.
Syrian troops sieze village above rebel-held parts of Aleppo (Reuters)