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

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

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