Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Amman, Jordan Wednesday, interrupting a diplomatic visit in Rome to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas amidst tensions and reports of issues in peace talks with Israel.
During his speech in the Arab League Summit in Kuwait Tuesday, Abbas accused Israel of sabotaging peace talks, reiterating his firm refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state, a condition made clear by Israel’s negotiating team and Prime Minister Netanyahu in order for a peace agreement. He accused Israel of “piling conditions on top of conditions to frustrate the American efforts to create a framework for the continuation of negotiations.”
The Arab League declared that it would also not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, stating through a resolution signed by the Arab League “absolute and categorical refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.”
Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is set to end on April 30 with the Palestinian Authority threatening to go to the United Nations to push for statehood recognition if Israel refuses to free the last of four prisoner releases as agreed as a condition for peace talks.
Israel has released 78 Palestinian prisoners incarcerated before the Oslo Accords of 1993. The prisoners, all convicted of acts of terror, have been released to the West Bank and Gaza, the next prisoner release schedule for the end of this week, with reports of a possible refusal by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s cabinet to approving the release.
Families of the terror victims began protesting the scheduled release this week, several Israeli Members of Parliament submitting a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, calling on the prime minister to not follow through with the prisoner release, but to agree to a settlement freeze instead.
Kerry will additionally meet with King Abdullah II.
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.