US Secretary of State John Kerry has made his 10th visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank in a bid to convince Tel Aviv and the Palestinian Authority to sign a framework agreement with the aim of reviving the so-called peace talks.
Kerry arrived in Jerusalem al-Quds amid heightened political tensions. Before his visit to the region, the Palestinian Authority slammed Israel for releasing tenders for 6000 new settler units in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds. During a press conference, Kerry said that a framework agreement has not yet been reached.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there will be no peace unless the Palestinian Authority is willing to recognize Israel. This, the Palestinian Authority says, amounts to ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their own land.
Following the final meeting between Acting Chief of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas and the U-S secretary of state, Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat held a press conference, saying that the Palestinian Authority’s position remains clear. The authority seeks to end the Israeli occupation and house demolitions and opposes the annexing of the Jordan Valley to Israel.
Palestinians are angry at John Kerry and accuse him of bias towards Israel. They say While Kerry attaches importance to what he calls Tel Aviv’s security, he has failed to speak of an action plan to force Israel into halting its continued settlement activities in the west bank and also ending its aggressions against the Palestinian people.