News / Middle East

Kerry Tries to Boost Israeli-Palestinian Talks

Kerry Tries to Boost Israeli Palestinian Talksi
X
December 04, 2013 11:08 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in another attempt to bolster their faltering peace talks. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Scott Bobb
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in another attempt to bolster their faltering peace talks.

Kerry wants to give a boost to Israeli-Palestinian talks that have been rocky since they were revived four months ago.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat complained at a recent meeting with diplomats that the Israelis continue to expand Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

“These negotiations need to be protected," he said. "They need to be protected against a [Israeli] government that is acting for the settlers, by the settlers, from the settlers.”

Before Kerry's arrival, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev reaffirmed Israel's commitment to the talks.

"The idea is to solve problems, to narrow the historic gaps that separate us," he said. "Israel is committed to making such an ongoing effort, I hope the Palestinians are too."

The head of East Jerusalem’s PASSIA think tank, Mahdi Abdul Hadi, said Kerry's visit is aimed primarily at restoring confidence at the talks.

“His [Kerry's] presence is a clear message that Washington is interested, Washington is following up the details, and Washington is going to work it out with all parties concerned with no exclusion of anyone," said Hadi.

But there is little optimism on either side, said Ephraim Kam, an analyst with Tel Aviv's Institute for National Security Studies.

"At the moment I don't see any chance for making progress, perhaps some progress on partial issues, temporary agreements, perhaps yes," he said. "But the Palestinians don't want it. They want a comprehensive agreement."

Kerry also is seeking to reassure the Israeli government that Iran will not be allowed to violate the recent interim accord freezing its suspected nuclear weapons program.

But many in Israel doubt Iran's sincerity. An analyst with the Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Ely Karmon, said the Iranian government wants to join the nuclear club to expand its influence on the world stage.

“Iran, or the Tehran regime, sees itself today not only as a hegemony in the Gulf, or even in the Middle East, but as a global power," he said. "So for this regime, and I think for even Iranian nationalists everywhere, the nuclear military capability is a must,.

Given these differences, expectations for any major breakthrough from this visit are low.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
The 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 Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

The 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 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 Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
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.

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