Kerry looks to boost peace talks

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 6, 2013

US Secretary of State John Kerry met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas this week in an attempt to revitalise the talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The talks, which began five months ago as a result of Mr Kerry’s efforts, have become bogged down amid mutual accusations.

Most of Mr Kerry’s focus in recent weeks has been on reaching the interim agreement between the world powers and Iran. Now, the Secretary of State is concentrating his efforts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Although negotiating teams have been meeting weekly, they have devoted a great deal of time to restating their positions. The Israelis have accused the Palestinians of inciting a surge of attacks in the West Bank and the Palestinians have accused Israel of sabotaging the talks by building settlements.

In an attempt to reinject some vigour into the talks, Mr Kerry is now reported to have proposed a plan for security arrangements in the West Bank.

Mr Netanyahu has long demanded that the security issues be addressed as a matter of priority.

Last updated: 8:45am, December 6 2013