Israel and Palestinian Authority negotiators met Tuesday evening in Jerusalem, just hours anticipated meetings with United States Secretary of State John Kerry.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is heading the Israeli negotiating team, Attorney Yitzchak Molko, and PA negotiator Saeb Erekat met in Jerusalem.
Kerry arrived in Israel late Tuesday with the goal of moving Israel-PA talks forward. While the content of the talks remains secret, leaks to the media suggest that the PA continues to insist on the 1949-1967 armistice line as the border of a Palestinian state.
The PA is also upset at continuing construction in Israeli Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. While all construction is happening within the city limits of existing communities, PA leaders see it as an obstacle to the fulfillment of their demand that Israelis be forced out of land given to the PA.
Israeli negotiators face waning support from within the government coalition. Several coalition members have openly voiced strong discomfort over the Palestinian Authority’s continuing incitement to terrorism.
Kerry began his visit with a trip to the Tel Aviv square where Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin was assassinated in 1995 by Yigal Amir, who targeted Rabin due to his support for the Oslo Accords.
Kerry laid a wreath at the Rabin memorial, and recalled Rabin as “a great man of peace.”
“One can hear his booming voice saying the famous words ‘we are destined to live together,’” Kerry said.
“He dared to take risks for peace, not just because it was important to take the risks, but that it was vital to secure the future of Israel and the region,” he added.
Kerry has meetings scheduled Wednesday with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres.