Kerry to Visit Next Week to Discuss Israeli-Palestinian Confidence-building Measures

In his first visit in over a year, the U.S. secretary of state is hoping to persuade Netanyahu to implement more serious measures than those he presented recently in Washington.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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Secretary of State John Kerry gestures as he speaks on the impact of climate change, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.
Secretary of State John Kerry gestures as he speaks on the impact of climate change, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va..Credit: AP
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories next Monday to discuss ways of stopping the violence and the implementation of confidence-building measures.

He is scheduled to meet with both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday.

The visit will be Kerry's first in over a year.

He was in Jordan a few weeks ago, in an attempt to reduce the tensions over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. A communique issued after his meetings with Jordan's King Abdullah and Abbas said they had agreed on the stationing of video cameras on the Temple Mount and the maintenance of the status quo.

Frank Lowenstein, the American envoy to the peace process, will arrive in Israel today to prepare for Kerry's visit and start discussing confidence-building steps with both sides.

The visits by Kerry and Lowenstein are a continuation of the talks Netanyahu held in Washington last week with President Barack Obama and Kerry. During those talks, Netanyahu presented gestures he is prepared to make to the Palestinians, primarily in the economic sector.

Kerry, however, is interested in having Israel take more serious action, particularly in Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli control. Such measures could include strengthening the status of the Palestinian Authority and actions that will give public expression to Israel's commitment to a two-state solution.

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