U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with visiting Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni this week and told reporters he will return to Israel in two weeks to push ahead for more “peace process” talks.
In a brief session with reporters, Kerry did not refer to the de facto building freeze that Israel media reported on Tuesday and was allegedly promised to him by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during Kerry’s visit last month.
The Palestinian Authority has said it knows nothing about the “quiet freeze.” and the Office of the Prime Minister has not commented.
Livni’s visit and the fact that Kerry is returning so soon indicate there is truth to the report.
Livni is Israel’s Justice Minister, but her primary interest is in pushing the American-backed “peace process” to create an independent Palestinian Authority within Israel’s borders.
Kerry reportedly pressured Netanyahu into agreeing with an undeclared building freeze on building for Jews in Judea and Samaria and areas in Jerusalem claimed by Abbas.
However, Netanyahu said he would remove the freeze in mid-June, according to the report of the freeze. That would give Kerry only one month to convince Abbas.
“We all believe that we are working with a short time span,” Kerry told reporters. “I will be travelling back to Israel to meet with both Prime Minister Netanyahu as well as President Abbas around the 21st or 22nd of this month.”. There is no expectation that Abbas and Netanyahu will meet with each other.