Kerry meets with al-Sisi, Abdullah II and Abbas in Cairo, calls for resumption of peace talks; Abbas calls for end of “occupation”
Ahead of Israel’s national elections this Tuesday, United States Secretary of State John Kerry stated on Saturday that he hopes election results will resume peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He stated that he remains hopeful that whatever the choice that the people of Israel make, that there will be an ability to be able to move forward on those efforts.”
The Secretary of State met with Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, Jordanian King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo Friday and Saturday, their meeting focused on the Palestinian’s economic crisis.
The Palestinian’s economy has been in crisis since Israel froze a tax collections transfers to the Palestinian Authority following Authority’s diplomatic attempts to gain statehood recognition, bypassing Israel entirely. The Authority additionally signed the Roman Statute and were admitted into the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Palestinians pressing charges against the State of Israel on human rights violations and war crimes during Operation Protective Edge.
Following their meeting, Abbas stated that “There is no alternative but to re-evaluate the security and economic relations with Israel” calling on Israel to “choose between peace and the continued occupation in Palestinian lands…. it could not be that Israel can continue to act above international law and not abide by signed agreements, continue to Judaize Jerusalem, continue to hold the Gaza under siege, and continue to rule over sixty percent of our land in the West Bank.”
His comments were similar to those of Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum who stated Saturday that “Hamas does not differentiate between contenders, we don’t differentiate between the governments nor between the Israeli parties” in regards to Israeli elections adding that, “the majority agrees on whoever kills more, destroys more, Judaizes and achieves more for Israel without giving anything to the Palestinian people.”
Hamas, which openly continues to call for the destruction of the State of Israel and has also begun to rebuild its tunnel network, is still in a unity government with the Palestinian Authority.
All negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been halted, ongoing negotiations on the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel led by Egyptian efforts.