|U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry changed his travel plans today to squeeze in a last-minute visit to Israel and the West Bank.Photographer: Jacquelyn Martin/AFP via Getty Images|
Israeli Ministers Cut Off Meetings With PalestiniansIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered cabinet ministers to stop meeting with their Palestinian counterparts, a government official said, hours after the U.S. blamed Israel for the breakdown of peace talks.
Israeli government officials have been told to refrain from meeting their Palestinian counterparts because the Palestinians violated commitments made under the peace talks, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss diplomacy for the record.
Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry charged that the announcement of 708 new Jewish homes in east Jerusalem derailed eight months of Mideast peace talks. Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he said the sides were closer to resolving differences over a delayed Israeli release of Palestinian prisoners when “700 settlement units were announced in Jerusalem and, poof, that was sort of the moment.”
While Kerry said both sides took “unhelpful actions,” some Israeli officials fumed at his suggestion that Israel’s April 1 announcement of settlement construction brought the talks to collapse....READ MORE
[AS ALWAYS PLEASE GO TO THE LINK TO READ GOOD ARTICLES IN FULL: HELP SHAPE ALGORITHMS (and conversations) THAT EMPOWER DECENCY, DIGNITY, JUSTICE & PEACE... and hopefully Palestine]