Kerry pushing for "fair" two-state solution in Palestinian-Israeli peace talks
A "fair peace" would let Israelis and Palestinians live safely together, Secretary of State John Kerry said before meetings Wednesday to revive the peace talks.
"America will stand by the side of Israel every step of the way," Kerry said at a Jerusalem ceremony marking 18 years since the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Rabin was a key Israeli advocate for an Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Kerry said he believed peace between the two sides was "something that is possible, is good for all, and ... can be achieved."
He called for a "just and appropriate and fair peace" that "guarantees that Israel's security will be protected, but makes possible for people to live the words of the prime minister: 'We are destined to live together.' And, I add, in peace," Kerry said.
Rabin's full quote about Israelis and Palestinians was, "We are destined to live together, on the same soil in the same land."
Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Accords in 1993. The agreement -- the first face-to-face agreement between Israel and the PLO -- set up a framework for resolving of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
It created the Palestinian Authority to govern parts of the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Issues such as the status of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Israeli settlements, security and borders were left to future negotiations.
After signing the accords, Rabin said, "We who have fought against you, the Palestinians, we say to you today, in a loud and a clear voice, enough of blood and tears ... enough!"
Rabin was assassinated Nov. 4, 1995, by a religious Zionist who said he opposed Rabin's peace initiative, particularly the Oslo Accords.
Kerry was to meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday morning before driving 6 miles south to Bethlehem to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, officials said.
He was to return to Jerusalem in the evening for a dinner meeting with Netanyahu, then circle back with Abbas in Amman, Jordan, Thursday.
There have been 16 peace-talk sessions between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators. But both sides have recently said negotiators were unable to bridge gaps amid tightening demands on both sides.
- Kerry: Palestinian-Israeli peace talks "intensifying"
- Palestinians, Israelis remain 'steadfast' on peace talks
- Palestinians want U.S. to continue peace push
- U.S. Kerry to present framework peace agreement to Israelis, Palestinians by end of year
- Erekat on Israel settlement announcement: "Message to Kerry to stop push for peace"