Kerry hears grim peace talks assessment from Israel

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Kerry hears grim peace talks assessment from Israel

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A grim picture of Middle East peace talks has been painted by the Israeli prime minister as US Secretary of State John Kerry pursues shuttle diplomacy aimed at securing a deal.

Benjamin Netanyahu said negotiations with the Palestinians had failed to make real progress and that he hoped Kerry, who is visiting Israel, could get them back on track.

“I am concerned about their progress because I see the Palestinians continuing with incitement, continuing to create artificial crises, continuing to avoid and run away from the historic decisions that are needed to make a genuine peace,” Netanyahu said.

Meeting the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas later, John Kerry could expect frustration to be voiced there, too.

Senior Palestinians have said an Israeli plan, announced last week, for 3,500 more settler homes in the occupied West Bank is a major obstacle to the success of the negotiations.

Israel’s settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are considered illegal by most countries.