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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Jerusalem (AFP) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry launched a second day of talks with Israelis and Palestinians on Friday, seeking to hammer out a framework to guide negotiations towards a peace deal.

American officials have privately said they believe the direct talks resumed in July after a three-year hiatus have reached a new phase, as an April deadline for an accord looms, but are struggling to overcome fierce opposition from both sides to any compromises.

Kerry returned to Israel on Thursday for his 10th trip as secretary of state, and went straight into five hours of meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The two men were to meet again around noon on Friday, after Kerry and his team first held breakfast talks at his Jerusalem hotel with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

The top U.S. diplomat will later head to Ramallah for discussions with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas at his headquarters in the occupied West Bank.

But Netanyahu on Thursday was downbeat on progress so far, launching a scathing attack on Abbas and casting doubt on whether he and the Palestinians were genuine in their desire for peace.

“I know that you’re committed to peace, I know that I’m committed to peace. But unfortunately given the actions and words of Palestinian leaders, there’s growing doubt in Israel that the Palestinians are committed to peace,” Netanyahu told a grim-faced Kerry.

Referring to Israel’s release of long-serving Palestinian prisoners as part of the talks, the Israeli leader said Abbas had “embraced terrorists as heroes. To glorify the murderers of innocent women and men as heroes is an outrage.

“He can’t stand against terrorists, and stand with the terrorists.”

But Kerry vowed the United States was committed to working with both sides “to narrow the differences on a framework that will provide the agreed guidelines for permanent status negotiations”.

“This will take time and it will take compromise from both sides. But an agreed framework would be a significant breakthrough.”

U.S. officials have refused to go into specific details about the framework, but have said they hope to conclude it soon.

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • dadhoover

    What Israel Firster writes this one sided BS that only works to un-inform and mislead the public as to who the real aggressors are in this conflict ? Here’s the most glaring one sided statement in the article. “But Netanyahu on Thursday was downbeat on progress so far, launching a scathing attack on Abbas and casting doubt on whether he and the Palestinians were genuine in their desire for peace.” NOT ONE WORD ABOUT THE FACT THAT NETENYAHU ANNOUNCED YET ANOTHER 272 PLANNED INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED AS ILLEGAL SETTLEMENT UNITS TO BE BUILT ON OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN LAND.

    Our tax dollars go to enable and protect these Settlement blocks to peace and they are a direct affront to our interests in the Middle East – this enabling Israels abuses of the Arabic Palestinians rights to their own homeland is the most frequently named reason in the region for hate of the USA and costs us in defense against that hate. So we pay twice — once in the form of $3.2 Billion a year to enable Israel to abuse its neighbors and then again to defend ourselves against enemies our enabling makes for us.

    Media such as this that misinforms – does the American public a great disservice because they’re being misinformed brings about the ignorant backing of the wrong actions and the wrong issues.


  • Plow Comms

    Just as collectivism claims that society somehow magically exists apart from those who comprise it, collectivism also claims that society’s knowledge magically exists apart from those who know it.