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January 2, 2014 2:36 pm

John Kerry Returns to Israel for Peace Talks Push

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Prime Minister Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

JNS.org U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel on Thursday for another attempt to achieve progress in Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations. At the same time, a delegation of Israeli Knesset and government members visited to the Gitit settlement in the Jordan Valley, affirming that Israel must retain control of the area to maintain security along the Jordanian border.

As part of any peace deal with the Palestinians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long insisted that Israel retain the Jordan Valley as a security buffer on any attacks from the east, including Iranian missiles. Palestinian negotiators have rejected that request.

Gilead Sher, who served as chief of staff and policy coordinator to Israel’s former prime minister and defense minister Ehud Barak, told JNS.org that “[the recent uptick in Palestinian terrorism is] intolerable, and I believe it has to be quite explicitly explained by the Americans and the international community to the heads of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) and the PA (Palestinian Authority) that it is their responsibility and duty to subside those acts, and to prohibit these kinds of acts emanating from their territory against Israeli civilian and military targets.”

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