CMEP Bulletin: Kerry Floats Plan at the Dead Sea

CMEP Bulletin: Kerry Floats Plan at the Dead Sea

After concluding his fourth trip to Israel and the West Bank, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry headed to a World Economic Forum regional meeting that brought together “titans of industry” wanting to be “enthusiastic allies in the effort to coax a resumption in negotiations.” At the meeting Kerry announced an effort coordinated by Tony Blair, the former British prime minister to see $4 billion in new investment from the private sector for West Bank and Gaza projects focusing on jobs and tourism.  

Israeli president Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also came to the meeting. Peres told the media at a press conference that the two sides should not waste time coming together to find a solution. He said, “As far as the Palestinians are concerned we have a functioning beginning and an agreed solution. The solution is the two-state solution — living in peace and dignity…I am aware of the missing links residing between the two ends. From my experience I believe it is possible to overcome them, it doesn’t require too much time. It is the real interest of all parties concerned.”

Abbas addressed the audience saying “ending the occupation of our land, releasing our prisoners, evacuating settlers and dismantling the apartheid wall are the elements that will make peace and security for you [the Israelis] and for us… This is doable, so let’s make peace a reality on the ground for our present and future generations to enjoy.”

While the consensus at the conference was that negotiations and an agreement are paramount, some Palestinian officials welcomed the economic investment plan with reservations, warning that they will not offer political concessions for economic benefits. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, “Israel needs to honor its commitments. We have never felt supported by the international community the way we feel now. Anyone who seeks peace, stability and prosperity in the region should realize that this could be done through ending the Israeli occupation.”

Click here to continue reading this week’s CMEP Bulletin, including the following topics:

  • ICG: Buying time in the West Bank
  • Vandalism at Christian holy site
  • Further reading