WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Israelis and Palestinians will have their second round of peace talks in Jerusalem on Aug. 14 and then a third in Jericho of the West Bank, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.
"Negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians will be resuming Aug. 14 in Jerusalem, and will be followed by a meeting in Jericho," spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters at a daily press briefing.
She said U.S. peace envoy Martin Indyk and his deputy Frank Lowenstein will travel to the region to "help facilitate" the negotiations, and Secretary of State John Kerry will not make any announcement after the talks.
The Palestinians and Israelis agreed to meet further to discuss all the final status issues -- Jerusalem, security, the Jewish settlements, borders and refugees, after their chief negotiators met late last month in Washington for two-day initial talks.
Kerry said after the initial talks that the United States and the parties seek to "achieve a final-status agreement over the course of the next nine months" through direct negotiations.
He also highlighted that he would be the only one authorized to comment publicly on the talks, as the parties had agreed to keep the content of the negotiations confidential.
Moreover, Psaki said Kerry and Susan Rice, President Barack Obama's national security adviser, will hold separate roundtable discussions with Jewish-American and Arab-American community leaders on Thursday and Friday evenings at the White House.
"These meetings will serve as an opportunity to update community leaders on the resumption of direct final-status negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, as well as to hear directly from these community leaders about their perspectives," Psaki said.
The last direct talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas lasted only three weeks before they fell apart in September 2010 over squabbles on settlement building in the West Bank.
JERUSALEM, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Only one in five Israelis believe that the current round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians will bear fruit, a poll revealed on Tuesday.
The Israel Democracy Institute's Peace Index poll is a monthly public poll, which started in June 1994 and tracks down the common trends in the public opinion in regard to various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Full story
GAZA, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- If any peace agreement was reached between Israel and the Palestinians in nine months as set by the United States, the fate of the Gaza Strip would remain uncertain due to the ongoing division between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party and Islamic Hamas movement who controls the enclave, analysts say.
After months of intensive U.S. mediation, the Palestinians and Israel recently restarted in Washington their peace talks which had broken down in October 2010 due to an expansion of Jewish settlement activities on occupied Palestinian lands. Full story
JERUSALEM, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Israel will not sign with the EU any agreement inapplicable on the lands it occupied in a 1967 war with the Palestinians, a move defying the bloc's new guidelines that ban funding any entity in such territories, an Israeli official confirmed to Xinhua on Thursday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a meeting with top ministers over the EU guidelines on Thursday, while Israeli and EU representatives discussed a scientific cooperation project that could include an investment of 600,000 euros (803,160 U.S. dollars) in Israeli high-tech companies.Full story
JERUSALEM, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have formed a new brigade to deal with national emergencies, the army announced Wednesday in a statement.
The brigade comprises four existing Home Front Command's search- and-rescue battalions. As a centralized operations center, the brigade will coordinate the activities of the four battalions in dealing with mass casualty incidents, including missile strikes launched on multiple fronts, chemical and biological weapons and natural disasters. Full story