News / Middle East

Kerry Visits Israel, West Bank Amid Frustration Over Peace Talks

Kerry Visits Israel, West Bank Amid Frustration Over Peace Talksi
X
November 05, 2013 7:24 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Israel for separate meetings Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. He hopes to press forward with a recently-revived peace initiative. As VOA's Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem, however, both sides' positions seemingly remain far apart.
Scott Bobb
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Israel for separate meetings Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. He hopes to press forward with a recently-revived peace initiative, though both sides' positions seemingly remain far apart.

Netanyahu said prior to Kerry's visit that he is committed to the peace talks, but he said his government's positions remain the same.
 
"For peace to happen between us and our Palestinian neighbors, they must acknowledge the right of the Jewish people to have their own state in its homeland. This means they must recognize a permanent solution and withdraw their nationalistic demands," said Netanyahu.

Israel last week released 26 Palestinian militants serving lengthy prison terms as part of the deal that revived the peace talks three-months-ago. It is to release 52 more next year.
 
Palestinians rejoiced at the prisoner release, but were angered when Israel announced more construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Fatah Spokesman Ahmad Assaf called it a violation of Palestinian rights and international agreements.

"What we need now is to hear a clear American position to oblige Israel to accept the needs of peace and to stop this dangerous threat to the process," said Assaf.
 
Kerry has pushed a timetable for the talks to conclude in six months. There is little optimism on either side, said the head of the Institute for National Security Studies, Amos Yadlin. "I'm still thinking that reaching an agreement will be more like a miracle. The chances at the end of the nine months that we will not see an agreement are higher than the chances we will see an agreement."
 
He said an interim accord could be possible. "It's always better to have negotiations than no negotiations. But I'm taking it further than that. I think the fact that the Israeli-Palestinian issue is not the main problem in the Middle East is now clear to everybody."
 
Yadlin said turmoil in Syria, Egypt, Libya and other parts of the region has overshadowed the peace process. And that, analysts say, is likely to be the case for some time.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dr. Vladimir Samyonov from: Moscow State U.
November 06, 2013 5:01 AM
the Philistins have a "home land" as Arabs in Jordan... they are Jordanian Arabs and have been Jordanian Arabs since time immemorial... Israel must assert its right to her territorial integrity without hesitation or else she will lose her home - again...


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
November 06, 2013 12:22 AM
If Israel would like to have its own state in its homeland, it also should accept the same right for Palestinian people. I think status quo at least should be kept for both sides to reach some agreement.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid