News / Middle East

Kerry Returns to Israel for Peace Talks

FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 10, 2013.FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 10, 2013.
x
FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 10, 2013.
FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 10, 2013.
VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry headed back to the Middle East on Thursday, a week after his previous visit ended with Palestinian dissatisfaction over U.S. ideas for an elusive peace deal with Israel.

Kerry's scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem was postponed due to the snowstorm which hit the city.

But the top U.S. diplomat is expected to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in the West Bank.

The State Department says Kerry will "continue the conversation" from his visit with Israeli and Palestinian leaders last week as the two sides continue to negotiate the major issues of a long-sought peace deal.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the meetings would cover "all of the issues that are on the table," including security.

Kerry said last week he believed they were closer to an agreement than they have been in years.

On Monday, he met with Israeli chief negotiator Tzipi Livni and her Palestinian counterpart Saeb Erekat in Washington for about three hours.

Israel and the Palestinians relaunched the U.S.-brokered talks in late July, and agreed to continue meeting for nine months.

You May Like

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dr. M.H. Cameron from: UK
December 12, 2013 12:30 PM
From whom did Israel capture the West Bank? From the Palestinians? NO! In 1967 there was NO Arab nation or state by the name of Palestine. Actually was there ever? So, who's territory is it? Until 1917 the Ottoman Empire occupied the whole region. After losing in WW1 the Ottomans relinquished their 500 year control to the allied forces which decided to divide the old empire into countries. Britain recognized the Jews historical right to their homeland. A small area equivalent to about half of 1% of the Middle East was designated for this purpose. however, do you realize what happened? The Jewish homeland not only included the West Bank, but also the East Bank of the Jordan River.

I suppose you cannot say that the Jewish people have not accepted some painful compromises, already. With the British Mandate ending, UN general assembly resolution #181, recommended the establishment of two states; one Jewish and one Arab. The Jews accepted it and went on to create the nation of Israel in 1948. While the Arabs refused a compromise and launched a war to destroy the newly established nation. At the end of the war, a cease fire line was formed, (armistice line, 1949), and both sides stopped fighting. At the insistence of the Arab leaders, this line was defined as having NO political significance.

So, although this line is commonly referred to as the "1967 border", it is NOT from 1967, and it was never an international border. Israel's presence in the West Bank is the result of self defense. The West Bank should not be considered "occupied", because there was no previous legal sovereign in the area. And therefore, the real definition should be "disputed" territory. The 1947 partition plan has no current legal standing, while Israel's claim to the land was clearly recognized by the international community during the 20th century.That is why the presence of Israeli settlements and construction in the West Bank should NOT be considered illegal. So what is the solution to the dispute over the West Bank? Fortunately the solution lies in God's Word, and His unbreakable covenants and promises to his chosen people. Any negotiations must be based on legal and historical FACTS.

by: Tamika Bond from: USA
December 12, 2013 11:40 AM
i don't understand what it is we are trying to do to israel... split the little country and give it to Hamas??? or Iran?? what are we doing??? hey Kerry, the Arabs have 56 countries...!!! the "philistines" are Jordanian and Iraqi Arabs... Israel is a Christian/Jewish country.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
December 12, 2013 7:51 AM
What is there to talk about for nine months? Israel accepts to make peace with Palestine, but that is conditional. Hamas is in Gaza continuing to press Iranian and Hezbollah agenda of obliteration of Israel. When eventually a deal is struck, what will be the position of Hamas? Is this so that Iran and Hezbollah can get closer to implement their dastardly demand on Israel? Two states resolution, agreed, but do the Palestinians belong to one state? Are the two states of Palestine (Gaza and West Bank) equally party to the agenda of peace? There is no point wasting time on processes that are known to be futile and will definitely fail at the end.

From every indication, the Israeli-Palestinian deal cannot take hold if Hamas continues to be pro-Iran, and Hezbollah is perched in the north of the country brandishing the same agenda of annihilation. It does not and cannot work. All parties to the conflict must agree to the peace of each other. Once a musician sang, "I don't want no peace, I want equal right." Equal right here means that Israel is willing to live side by side in peace with its neighbors. But its neighbors don't even want to hear Israel's name as part of the region. So what peace is Kerry, Obama, and by default USA trying to broker? If ever this comes off the ground, it will be like a castle built in the air, with no foundation.

Therefore, Hamas to which a large chunk of Palestinians belong, Hezbollah which is most of Lebanon, and the Arab League must show positive signs of cooperation with Israel for any peace deal to be meaningful. Otherwise it will be a one-sided deal favoring a fast-forwarding of the islamic Iran's agenda to wipe Israel out of world map. What Israels wants is not just peace, it wants assurance of its security in the region and in the place they have as home. There will be no proper peace with Hamas and Hezbollah armed to the teeth rearing to go. No. No peace deal until Hamas either changes its agenda orientation, gets integrated to West Bank Palestinians with one government, and Hezbollah disarmed, dissolved or disorientated from the nihilist project against Israel. Then and only then can Israel live in peace and security, to be able also to give and share same with its neighbors in equal rights and justice.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs