John Kerry
John Kerry AFP photo

US Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem this Tuesday in renewed efforts to resume peace talks, a Palestinian Authority official claims. 

The move follows Israel's announcement this week to build 1500 new housing units for Jewish residents in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria after releasing 26 convicted terrorists to those regions, as well as to Gaza, as a precondition to negotiations. 

Palestinian Liberation Organization leaders reportedly met in Ramallah on Thursday to discuss new ways to prevent Israel from building more Jewish neighborhoods, and to launch other campaigns to place Israel under international pressure. 

Kerry is also scheduled to visit Israel next week, in the next step of the US's plan to broker more peace talks after a nearly three-year hiatus. Both stops are mere parts of a regional tour to discuss the wider issues in the Middle East, including the Syrian civil war.