News / Middle East

Kerry in Israel for Talks on Prisoner Release, Extending Peace Talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves Paris, March 31, 2014, for a trip to the Middle East to work on talks about the Middle East peace process.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves Paris, March 31, 2014, for a trip to the Middle East to work on talks about the Middle East peace process.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has met in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, amid reports the U.S. may release Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard as part of a wider package to resuscitate Mideast peace talks.

Sources familiar with the negotiations told news agencies that Pollard's release is not a certainty, but that the possibility is "on the table."

Pollard, a Jewish American, was a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy when he gave thousands of classified documents to his Israeli handlers. He was arrested Washington in 1985 after unsuccessfully seeking refuge at the Israeli embassy in Washington.

He pleaded guilty to leaking classified documents to Israel and received a life sentence.

President Barack Obama and his predecessors have refused to release Pollard, despite pleas from Israeli leaders.

It is the second time in less than a week that Kerry has changed his schedule and come to the region to try to prevent peace talks from collapsing over the prisoner controversy.

Israeli leaders want the peace process extended beyond the end of next month before they release more prisoners, arguing that Palestinians will have no incentive to continue with talks once the detainees are freed. Palestinians say they will quit now if Israel refuses to release those prisoners, among them Israeli Arabs detained before the 1993 Oslo peace accord.

Israel promised to free this group as part of the deal that launched nine months of peace talks in exchange for Palestinians agreeing not to take diplomatic action against Israel at international organizations such as the United Nations.

As he has throughout these talks, Kerry declined to discuss publicly specifics of U.S. efforts to overcome the prisoner standoff.

"I think it would be inappropriate to get into any kind of judgements about what may or may not occur or happen because it's really a question between the Palestinians and the Israelis and what Prime Minister Netanyahu is prepared to do," said Kerry.

Secretary Kerry met in Jordan with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last Wednesday before returning to Italy to join President Barack Obama's meeting with Pope Francis. Talks here come between a late Sunday meeting in Paris with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Tuesday's start of a NATO foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels.

You May Like

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anthonybellchambers from: London
April 01, 2014 8:31 AM
Pollard must NOT be released until Israel releases Vananu, the heroic nuclear technician who told the world about Israel's secret nuclear weapons program that had been concealed from the US and UN inspectors, and who was drugged and abducted in Paris by Israeli agents then kept in solitary confinement for 11 years!

by: ariely shein from: jerusalem
April 01, 2014 1:01 AM
Everyone is entitled to a state based on self-determination but the Jews.

The earth rotates around the sun.
The seasons are changing every couple of month.
The glassier are moving forward and backward.
Children are born and grow up.
Birds migrate and return.
Only one fact never changes.

Arabs refusal to recognize Israel, the Jewish state, was valid in 1947 and reminds valid as well today.

All the other issues discussed by the Arabs are only tactical means to divert the world form the main issue-Arabs quest to destroy Israel.
(I must agree that they are quite successful in diverting the attention.
They are acting in line with the Takiyya doctrine, lying and masking their goals to the infidels)

Following 3 appetizers example said only in Arabic and not English or any other language.

1:After the Arabs attack the infant defending Israel on 1948:
Egypt controlled Gaza.
Jordan controlled the West bank.
Palestinians could demand independence.
They could form a Palestine state.
!!!! By they did not-- gues why?!!!.

2: Al Jazeera interview:
"If we say that we want to wipe Israel out its too difficult.
It’s not acceptable policy to say so.
Don’t say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself.
Everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go""

3:"The peace talks with Israel are part of ARAB STARTEGY TO ISOLATE ISRAEL and threaten its legitimacy."
Palestine Ambassador Abdullah Abdullah in Lebanon.
--

The following Oscar Wild great sentence is applicable to naïve (or not- who nows?) president Obama demands from Israel:
""True friends stab you in the ront."

by: Luke2128 from: US
March 31, 2014 9:22 PM
The day is near when I, the Lord, will judge all godless nations! As you have done to Israel, so it will be done to you. All your evil deeds will fall back on your own heads. - - Obadiah 1:15

by: Anthonybellchambers from: London
March 31, 2014 5:59 PM

The Highly Disturbing Facts of the US-Backed Israeli Occupation of Palestine


No of Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails = 4228
No of Israeli political prisoners held in Gaza and West Bank = nil

US military/civil aid, loan guarantees given to Israel annually = $6billion
US military and civil aid, loans given to Palestine = nil

No of Palestinians killed by Israel in last 12 months = 72
No of Israelis killed by Palestinians = 6

Amount of water consumed by each Israeli circa = 183 litres/ day
Amount of water consumed by each Palestinian = 80 litres/day

No of Israeli nuclear weapons mass destruction = 200-400
No of Palestinian WMD = nil

No of Israeli nuclear-armed, cruise missile submarines = 5
No of Palestinian submarines = nil

No of US-supplied, Israeli fighter/bomber strike aircraft = 550
No of Palestinian aircraft = nil

No of months Israel has blockaded 1.7m people in Gaza = 78
No of illegal settlers in Israeli Occupied Territories. = 500,000

No of years Israel in existence = 66
No of years that Arabs the majority people of Palestine = 1000

No of years Marwan Barghouti wrongly imprisoned by Israel = 11

________________________________________
Note: The above data is collated from reliable published sources in the public domain during March 2014.
In Response

by: karyn sedgwick
March 31, 2014 9:17 PM
anthony bell chambers is an imbecile.

he conveniently forgets the context:
how many missiles has Israel fired into population zones in Gaza?
Zero.
how many missiles have come from terrorists in the Gaza strip into Israeli cities? Thousands.
Why was Israel forced to build an army? It had to defend itself in 6 wars, 1000's of terror attacks, two intifadas, and 20 Arab scum countries that still refuse to accept Israel, and who've publicly vowed to destroy it.
How many Israelis have been beheaded in the last 66 years? hundreds. How many Palies have been by Israelis? Zero.
How much of the middle east did the arabs get after WW1.
99.6 percent
How much did the Holocaust survivors get? 0.4 percent
How many treaties has Israel violated? Zero.
How many treaties did the Palies violate. Every single one.
How many of the 1000 Palies in Israeli jails are terrorists? ALL.
How many Israeli prisoners are in Palie jails? Zero.

How many ships, boats, ambulences and trucks have the Palies tried to get weapons into Gaza from? Dozens?
How many tunnels have the Palies built from Gaza? thousands...so many that Egypt also has a blockade.

This guy is an imbecile.


by: private from: new york
March 31, 2014 5:06 PM
Netanyahu will say anything to get Pollard back, but he will NEVER settle with the Palestinians. Shortly after Pollard is released Netanyahu will find a reason to stop negotiating, or to cancel any agreement he made. And Pollard belongs in jail.

by: tommy from: va
March 31, 2014 1:12 PM
ISRAEL SHOULD NOT GIVE UP THER LAND FOR ANY REASON,THAT LAND WAS PROMISED TO THEM BY GOD PERIOD.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs