— Maya Shwayder (@MayaErgas) December 15, 2014
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Rome on Monday to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
The two are set to discuss three initiatives planned by the Palestinians: the effort to advance a proposal for a two-year deadline for Israeli withdrawal to 1967 lines; the threat to join the International Criminal Court in The Hague and to take action against Israel for alleged war crimes; and the plan to join about 100 UN organizations to cement their de facto status as a state.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday reiterated his call for the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, drawing a correlation between the lack of a diplomatic process and the growing power of extreme Islamist groups like Islamic State.
Speaking at a State Department ceremony honoring the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, Kerry suggested that the unresolved conflict between Israel and the Palestinians was helping the Islamic State group recruit additional volunteers.
As nations and organizations began lining up to help rebuild the war-ravaged Gaza Strip, representatives of several major donors said Sunday that this is the last time they will pay and urged Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate a final settlement leading to two separate states.
Appearing in Cairo at a conference of more than 50 donor nations, U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced that the United States would contribute an additional $212 million to Gaza reconstruction. The Americans have already sent $118 million. Coupled with $84 million given to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which cares for Palestinian refugees, the total U.S. commitment to rebuilding Gaza now stands at more than $400 million.
Secretary of State John Kerry spent Sunday on the TV talk show circuit, trying to walk the fine line which conveyed the U.S. belief that Israel had the right to protect itself while bemoaning the number of people, many of them civilians, killed in the Gaza incursion. Along the way he gave some indication that he’d decided to fly back to the Middle East – as a phone conversation he had was picked up by an open-mic. The same conversation where he criticized the Israelis for their ”pinpoint” attacks in Gaza. Now he’s making good on that decision – winging his way to Cairo.
Before the announcement of the Palestinian unity government the United States said it wouldn’t recognize it when established. Then after the announcement Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. would cooperate with the unity government. Much to the chagrin of Israel. Now the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapriro, is “clarifying” those remarks. Declaring to Israeli Army Radio, “We will not work with Hamas.” Click here to read the story.