Amidst ongoing Israeli violations, invasions and assaults, as well as ongoing illegal settlement construction activities, U.S. Secretary of State John Jerry is to start his tenth tour in Tel Aviv and Ramallah, in an attempt to move direct peace talks forward.Kerry will be holding several meetings with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, in an effort to bridge the widening gaps obstructing direct peace talks.
One of the main obstacles that the political talks face is the Israeli insistence on construction and expansion of its illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem.
On Wednesday, Israeli sources said that Tel Aviv decided not to officially declare new construction bids during the visit of Kerry, despite an initial decision to construct more than 1,400 units.
Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyadh Al-Maliki, told the Ma’an News Agency that Kerry would be carrying proposals and ideas which need extended talks and discussions before they can actually lead to any noticeable outcome.
Israel controls all borders and natural resources in the occupied West Bank, and insists that its military presence and its settlements, especially in the Jordan valley area, are not part of any talks with the Palestinians.