JERUSALEM, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is pressuring Israel and the Palestinians to reach a framework agreement until April, the Ha'aretz daily reported on Sunday.
According to the daily, Kerry is eager to advance the peace talks, which are reportedly in a bad shape, believing talks would fall apart if the parties won't agree to such a framework agreement.
The U.S. Secretary of State, who pushed for the resumption of the peace talks last July after a three-year halt and has operated shuttle diplomacy in recent months in order to push the talks amid fears that the talks would fall apart over Israel's continuing settlement construction and its insistence on stern security demands.
The daily reported that Kerry and his team wish to reach a framework agreement before the upcoming release of another group of Palestinian prisoners, the fourth to be released out of an overall 104 Palestinian prisoners Israel agreed to free amid the renewal of the negotiations six months ago.
The deadline for the first round of talks was set for April, it appears the framework agreement would extend the talks until the end of the year.
According to the reports, the U.S. framework document outlines the future peace talks on the issues of the pre-1967 borders and land, relates to Israel as a Jewish state and calls for compensating Palestinian refugees that ran away from their homes amid the 1948 war.
More and more businesses and organizations in Europe have started executing bans against Israeli businesses in protest over Israel's construction in its West Bank and east Jerusalem settlements, on territories it annexed in the 1967 Mideast War.
Netanyahu, who made the comments in the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, said such comments over bans against Israel "cause the Palestinians to fortify themselves in their uncooperative stand," adding that "no pressure would cause me to give up on Israel's vital security interests."
Abbas, Hamas official meet on reconciliation
RAMALLAH, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and a senior Islamic Hamas movement leader met here Saturday on Palestinian reconciliation.
The meeting lasted two hours, said Nasser al-Din al-Sha'er, a Hamas leader and former deputy prime minister in the Hamas-led government, which rules the Gaza Strip. Full story
Israeli fighter jets strike on Gaza, no injuries reported
GAZA, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Israeli fighter jets carried out three successive airstrikes early Friday on eastern, northern and western Gaza city in response to rockets fired on Israel, Hamas security officials said. There were no reports of injuries.
Three successive explosions were heard in northern, eastern and southern Gaza after in the wake of missiles fired by Israeli F-16 fighters, the officials said. Full story