Kerry meets Abbas, says ‘two-state solution’ is still viable
Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated Washington’s commitment to a “two-state solution” on Tuesday, following a meeting in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
In brief remarks after the meeting Abbas, Kerry expressed sympathy for the Palestinians’ “very dire” situation and concerns “about the violence,” according to AFP.
“I am here at the request of President Obama to see what we can do to try to help contribute to calm and to restore people’s confidence in the ability of a two-state solution to still be viable, to be achieved at some point,” Kerry added.
“We are committed to that two states with two peoples living side by side,” he stressed. “The United States will continue to work as hard as possible to achieve that end.”
The United States continues to reiterate its belief that the only solution to the Israel-PA conflict is the “two-state” solution, though officials in the Obama administration recently admitted that reaching this solution before Obama’s term expires is unlikely.
Kerry had met earlier on Tuesday with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
During the meeting, Netanyahu told Kerry that there will not be any official “settlement freeze” on his watch, a senior source close to the prime minister told Arutz Sheva.
In the course of the meeting Netanyahu stressed to Kerry that the root of the current wave of violence is the constant, unrelenting religious incitement from the Palestinian leadership in both Judea-Samaria and Gaza, via official and unofficial outlets. That incitement has particularly focused on false claims that Israel plans to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.
The Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas is a full partner in such incitement, regularly using its TV and social media pages to encourage terrorism against Israelis.
Netanyahu said that the first condition to returning normal daily life for Arabs in Judea and Samaria was a return to the relative quiet which preceded the past two months of daily terrorist attacks. Economic and other development programs in the PA could not go ahead given the current climate, he warned.