Netanyahu meets Kerry in Jerusalem, says concerned over progress of peace talks
PM says Palestinians 'continue to run away from the historic decisions needed to make a genuine peace.' U.S. Secretary of State Kerry says U.S. will provide an additional $75 million in aid to create Palestinian jobs.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday peace talks with the Palestinians had failed to make real progress and he hoped U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's visit could get them back on track.
"I am concerned about the progress because I see the Palestinians continuing with incitement, continuing to create artificial crises, continuing to avoid, run away from the historic decisions that are needed to make a genuine peace," Netanyahu told reporters with Kerry at his side.
Netanyahu said he hoped Kerry's discussions in Jerusalem and with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas "will help steer (the negotiations) back to a place where we could achieve the historical peace that we seek."
Kerry, whose shuttle diplomacy helped to revive the land-for-peace talks last July after a three-year break, said he was confident progress could be made in the six months remaining in a nine-month target window for a deal.
But he also acknowledged that negotiations had run into difficulties and spoke of a need for "real compromises and hard decisions" from both sides.
"President Obama sees the road ahead as do I and we share a belief in this process or we wouldn't put time into it," said Kerry, who arrived in Israel on Tuesday and is scheduled to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas later on Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, Kerry says the U.S. will provide an additional $75 million in aid to create Palestinian jobs and help them improve roads, schools and other infrastructure.
U.S. officials say the aid is intended to boost Palestinian public support for faltering peace talks with Israel by showing them tangible benefits from the process.
The new aid brings the U.S. contribution to a Palestinian infrastructure program to $100 million
Poll: Most Palestinians skeptic about peace
Meanwhile, a new survey found that 70 percent of Palestinians believe the peace talks with Israel will fail and 57.8 percent think a third intifada will break out in the West Bank.
According to a survey conducted by researcher from An-Najah National University, 38 percent of respondents said they support the intifada be armed while, 55 percent said they oppose an armed uprising.
58 percent said they support a popular intifada and 35 percent said they might support dismantling the Palestinian authority if the peace talks reach a dead end. 57 percent, however, said they oppose breaking up the Palestinian Authority.
60 percent of all those surveyed said they are pessimistic about the general Palestinian condition and 34 percent said the state of things increases their desire to leave their homes and emigrate elsewhere.
Researchers handed out written surveys to a representative sample of 1360 Palestinians, aged 18 and over, out of which 860 live in the West Bank and 500 in the Gaza Strip.