US gives $75 million to Ramallah, Netanyahu accuses Palestinians of incitement
US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the United States will provide a $75 million aid package to Palestinians to promote job creation and improve infrastructure, according to the Associated Press.
Speaking in Bethlehem where he is scheduled to meet with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Kerry said that the aid is intended to show Palestinians the "tangible benefits" of the peace talks with Israel and heighten public support for the process.
The talks, which are supposed to reach an agreement within a 9-month timeframe, have been on the verge of crumbling in recent weeks largely due to Israel's new West Bank settlement plans which are considered illegal under international law.
However, Kerry believes that the tensions between the two parties in recent weeks can be overcome if both groups are committed to making "real compromises and hard decisions."
Before Kerry's announcement in Bethlehem, the Secretary of State met with Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu, whose comments on Palestinians have done little to help move the negotiations forward. According to AP's report, the Israeli PM told Kerry that "I see the Palestinians continuing with incitements, continuing to create artificial crises, continuing to avoid (and) run away (from) strong decisions that are needed to make a genuine peace."
Netanyahu did not mention his approval for constructing thousands of new illegal Jewish settlement homes in Palestine West Bank's Hebron and east Jerusalem in conjunction with his comments. Settlement construction in 2010 was considered one of the major factors that dismantled the last round of peace negotiations between the two sides.
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