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

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid