Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are scheduled to meet in London on Wednesday. The meeting was confirmed by the US State Department amid reports that the meeting would not take place.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki shot down reports claiming the meeting would focus on the option of reinstating peace talks with Israel. She stated that, “While the door remains open to a peace process, the purpose of the meeting is to discuss our ongoing relationship with the Palestinians. Secretary Kerry will reiterate a call he has made to both sides to maintain restraint and refrain from steps that would be unhelpful. As he has throughout the process, Secretary Kerry will reiterate a call he has made to both sides to maintain restraint and refrain from steps that would be unhelpful.”
A Palestinian Authority official however stated that, “the meeting will discuss a possible resumption of negotiations with Israel. It could be the last attempt by Kerry to revive negotiations” on Monday when a report of the upcoming meeting was announced.
The meeting will reportedly address large concerns from Washington, including reports that all US financial aide to the Palestinians will not benefit Hamas whatsoever. By US law, any and all financial aide to the Palestinians cannot go to Hamas, a terrorist organization.
On April 23rd, the Palestinian Authority (Fatah party) and Hamas announced a unity-government amidst failure of peace talks with Israel. Israel officially pulled out of peace talks, as Hamas is a terrorist organization that openly calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.
Hamas and Fatah announced on Saturday that the new joint Hamas-Fatah unity government would most likely be formed ahead of the set deadline of five weeks. Fatah has already announced that 3,000 policemen from the West Bank will be sent to Gaza, and Hamas has reportedly begun asking Arab leaders in the Middle East for financial aide.
Amir Tsarfati is the founder and president of Behold Israel, a news site to correct the scarcity in trustworthy reportage on issues and events impacting Israel, and to resolve the uncertainty about who or what to believe.
Photo credit: U.S. State Department