News / Middle East

Kerry Heads to Jerusalem, Ramallah for 'Framework' Talks on Mideast Peace

Kerry Heads to Jerusalem, Ramallah for 'Framework' Talks on Mideast Peacei
X
January 02, 2014 12:30 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is making another foray into the Middle East, hoping to give momentum to peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Officials say he will present both sides with a broad outline, or framework, of what a final deal could look like. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is making another foray into the Middle East, hoping to give momentum to peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Officials say he will present both sides with a broad outline, or framework, of what a final deal could look like.

As a new year dawns on the Middle East, doubts persist in the West Bank city of Hebron that these latest talks can bring change.

"History repeats itself. The last forty years are all the same. The Americans come here only to protect their own and Israel's interests, not the Palestinian interests," said Ayeed Al Kumeria, a Palestinian from Hebron.

There also is anger. Suspected Jewish extremists torched cars Tuesday in a West Bank refugee camp, and left Hebrew graffiti warning U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that blood would be spilled.

Kerry is to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, presenting them with a proposed framework for negotiations on the core issues separating the two sides.

But earlier this week, the U.S. State Department was quick to downplay expectations. Deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said, "We’re hoping to make progress in narrowing the gaps on this trip, but don’t want to predict whether we’ll reach agreement on this framework during these few days."

A lack of progress has all but ended hopes of getting a final agreement by the initial target date at end of April. And, in some ways, the sides seem as far apart as ever.

Kerry's trip follows Israel's release of 26 Palestinian prisoners, part of the U.S.-brokered deal to restart the talks. The Palestinian president personally welcomed some of those prisoners.

"We will not sign a final peace deal with Israel until all the prisoners are released," said Abbas.

Netanyahu bristled at (was angered by) the display for those he called murderers. "Peace can only exist when the education for incitement is stopped. Only when the education for the disappearance of Israel and the glorification of terror is stopped."

Adding to the tensions, Israel's plans to announce more building in the West Bank - something it has often done after a prisoner release - though Israeli media say this time any announcement has been put on hold until after Kerry's visit.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid