The US State Department announced, late Monday, that senior officials are planning to visit Israel again, after the recent collapse of peace talks.Reports that US Secretary of State John Kerry had decided to dismantle a team of American negotiators were denied by the State Department. The negotiators in question have been in place for months, now, in Jerusalem, with the hopes of pushing forward with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, according to Al Ray.
Since the 1970s, Al Ray reports, there has been a parallel effort to find terms upon which peace can be agreed to in the Palestinian–Israeli conflict.
Direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians began again on July 29, 2013, following an attempt by United States Secretary of State John Kerry to restart the peace process.
In a related context, Hamas has announced that it will never recognize Israel, and will not accept the conditions laid out by the Middle East Quartet, according to Mussa Abu Marzouq, deputy leader of the Islamist movement.
Under the terms of the recent reconciliation deal between diverging Palestinian factions, Gaza’s Hamas and PLO President Mahmoud Abbas are to collaborate in forming a new unity government which will prepare for national elections.
The PLO recognized Israel’s right to exist in 1988, but Israel said it would not negotiate with any government backed by Hamas, and the peace talks formally ended, soon after.
Recognizing Israel is one of the key conditions laid out in the 2003 peacemaking roadmap of the Middle East Quartet, which brings together the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia, Ma’an reports.
The other two key demands are a renunciation of violence and acceptance of all prior agreements with Israel.