Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel for his 10th visit Thursday, telling Israeli and Palestinian leaders that peace “is not mission impossible.”
Kerry is looking to advance a peace agreement that the U.S. has said it hopes to have in place by April, even as both sides appeared increasingly pessimistic, Reuters reports.
“There is growing doubt in Israel that the Palestinians are committed to peace,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, standing beside Kerry in Jerusalem. Netanyahu criticized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the heroes’ welcome that greeted Palestinian prisoners who were released Tuesday following convictions on murdering Israelis.
Kerry will meet with Abbas on Friday in the West Bank. On Thursday, he called for both sides to agree on a framework for an agreement, adding that he would not impose U.S. ideas but “facilitate” peace efforts.
“This is not mission impossible,” he said, according to the Associated Press. ”In the weeks and months ahead, both sides are going to need to make tough choices to ensure that peace is not just a possibility but is a reality.”