Kerry in another bid to get Israel, PA to talk

Kerry meets PA president; Abbas adds handover of W. Bank area under Israeli control as per Oslo Accords to list of preconditions.

By
April 7, 2013 22:22
2 minute read.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) meets with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Ramallah

Abbas and Kerry 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

US Secretary of State John Kerry flew into Israel from Turkey late Sunday afternoon, his second visit in two weeks, and went directly to Ramallah for talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas reiterated his stance regarding the resumption of peace talks with Israel, but added a new demand: that Israel hand control over parts of Area C in the West Bank to his authority.

During a meeting in Ramallah with Kerry, Abbas, according to the Bethlehembased Ma’an news agency, also demanded that Israel promise to refrain from withholding Palestinians’ tax revenues in the future, as well as the immediate release of Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike in Israeli jails.

Under the terms of the Oslo Accords, Area C of the West Bank is under Israel’s exclusive control.

“The issue of the prisoners is now at the top of our list of priorities,” a PA official said. “Without the release of a significant number of prisoners, especially those who are on hunger strike and facing death at any moment, there can be no talk about resuming the peace process.”

During the meeting, Abbas also repeated his earlier demand that Israel halt construction in all settlements and east Jerusalem and release dozens of Palestinians imprisoned prior to the signing of the Oslo Accords.

“President Abbas reiterated his refusal to resume peace talks with Israel unless the Israeli government stopped its policy of settlement construction,” the official told The Jerusalem Post. “We are also demanding that Israel hand over to the Palestinian Authority parts of Area C in the West Bank.”

The State Department said the goal of Kerry’s current round of meetings is “to follow up on last month’s discussions as we continue to assess how best we can support the parties in getting back to the table and in having dialogue leading to peace.”

Asked if Kerry was carrying new ideas for reviving the peace process, another PA official said: “So far we haven’t seen anything new.


The Americans know that the ball is in the Israeli court. Therefore the pressure should be on the Israeli government, and not the Palestinian leadership.”

On Monday morning, Kerry is scheduled to attend Holocaust Remembrance Day memorial services at Yad Vashem before beginning a day of meetings.

Kerry is scheduled to meet with Palestinian officials at the US consulate in Jerusalem, as well as with the American Consul-General Michael Ratney. In the late afternoon, he is due to meet with President Shimon Peres.

Kerry is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday morning for two hours. Two weeks ago they met for some four hours, along with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is charged with heading Israel’s negotiating team with the Palestinians.

The US secretary of state will leave for London immediately after his meeting with Netanyahu for a meeting of G8 foreign ministers, and then go on to South Korea, China and Japan.

On Tuesday Netanyahu is also scheduled to meet Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, currently on a three-day visit to Israel.

Baird was in attendance at the opening ceremony of memorial services at Yad Vashem on Sunday evening.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN