US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks on the phone to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, from his hotel suite in Cairo July 25, 2014..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged Israel and the Palestinians to utilize the temporary cease-fire in Gaza and ensuing indirect diplomatic negotiations in Cairo to focus on the need to reach a "bigger, broader approach to a two-state solution."
In an interview with the BBC on Tuesday, Kerry said such a solution would need to provide security for Israel and greater guarantees for the Palestinian people.
While Kerry reiterated US support for Israel's right to defend itself, he expressed his hope that the 72-hour cease-fire that went into effect Tuesday morning would lay the foundation for a more widely encompassing agreement that would support and improve the Palestinians' conditions while enforcing "a greater responsibility toward Israel, which means giving up rockets."
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US would likely participate in the talks in Cairo, although she did not specify when and in what capacity.
She added that the US did not expect the issues being discussed in the Egyptian capital to be resolved quickly, and one foreseeable priority was the extension of the so-far uninterrupted temporary cease-fire set to last until Friday morning.
Meanwhile, Lebanon's al-Maydeen TV reported in the early hours of Wednesday that Egyptian delegates have suggested to Israeli and Palestinian envoys in Cairo that indirect negotiations be extended from the 72-hour cease-fire to 120 hours.