Livni, Netanyahu Envoy Secretly Meet Kerry in Bid to Renew Peace Negotiations

A senior Israeli official tells Haaretz the meeting, held in Amman on Monday, was the fourth meeting the justice minister and envoy Yitzhak Molcho have held with the U.S. secretary of state since his arrival in the region.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's envoy, Yitzhak Molcho, secretly met on Monday morning with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman. A senior Israeli official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, told Haaretz it was the fourth meeting the two held with Kerry since he arrived in the region last Thursday.

According to the official, the meeting, that lasted several hours, focused on expanding efforts to bridge the gaps between Israel and the Palestinians and renew peace negotiations. Kerry then met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the latter's residence in Amman.

Since his arrival, Kerry has held lengthy meetings in the yet unsuccessful effort to find a formula that would bring about a renewal of talks. Since Thursday, he has held two meetings with Netanyahu, and three meetings with Livni and Molcho.

Kerry has also met three times with Abbas and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat since Thursday. Before meeting Kerry on Monday morning, Abbas told Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayam that Kerry had yet to present a clear outline for renewal of the process, adding that he expected such an outline to be presented within two weeks.

After the Amman meetings on Monday, Kerry flew back to Washington. At a press conference on Friday, before leaving Israel, Kerry said that he expected answers from Netanyahu and Abbas within a week or two.

"I’m going to go on to other meetings and other business that I have as Secretary of State, while others [Netanyahu and Abbas] obviously consider the choices that they know now are clear and the ways that we have offered to think about how we might proceed forward. So in that regard, those are the hard choices that need to be made," Kerry said.