[Thursday, December 5, 2013] Israeli sources have reported that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has rejected security arrangements offered by US Secretary of State John Kerry, during their Thursday meeting in Ramallah.The sources said that Kerry presented “ideas” regarding security measures that would be implemented under a future peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

A Palestinian official, who elected to remain anonymous, said that the proposals were rejected as they would only contribute to prolonging the Israeli occupation of Palestine, instead of ending it, and establishing a viable and contiguous Palestinian state.

Kerry introduced the proposals to Abbas after holding an extended meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat said that direct talks with Tel Aviv are still facing numerous obstacles and complications due to Israeli violations, including its ongoing settlement construction and expansion activities.

Erekat added that, despite the complications, the Palestinian side did not lose hope, and is committed to achieving a just and comprehensive peace deal.

The Abbas-Kerry meeting lasted for three hours; following the meeting, Kerry told reporters that a progress has been made regarding security arrangements, but declined to elaborate.

Kerry added that the Palestinian and Israeli interests are similar, but both sides have questions regarding sovereignty, serious concerns regarding security in addition to questions regarding all important issues that would end the conflict.

Israel is ongoing with its illegitimate settlement construction and expansion activities in the occupied West Bank, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem, in direct violation of International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Tel Aviv also rejects any withdrawal from occupied Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley, and refuses to hold talks on essential issues such as borders, natural resources and the internationally guaranteed Right of Return for the Palestinian refugees.