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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More