The US Secretary of State is in the West Bank to try to bring new energy to peace efforts. Condoleezza Rice held meetings with the Palestinian President there after a surprise ceasefire took hold in Gaza over the weekend. But for Mahmoud Abbas, the political outlook is gloomy – he said efforts to reach a unity government with Hamas had reached a “dead end”. He said further discussion was needed before he decided what move to take next. There are fears that if he adopts a hardline against Hamas and dismisses the government a civil war could be triggered. Rice is to head to Israel next, where she is expected to urge for restrictions on Palestinians to be eased.