2014-01-02T185801Z_5_CBREA0110Z100_RTROPTP_2_CNEWS-US-ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS-KERRY

Netanyahu gloomy as Kerry returns for peace talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks upon his arrival at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel AvivBy Arshad Mohammed JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered a gloomy assessment of peace prospects with the Palestinians on Thursday as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry began his 10th visit to the region in pursuit of a deal. “There is growing doubt in Israel that the Palestinians are committed to peace,” said Netanyahu, speaking with Kerry at his side and accusing Palestinian officials of orchestrating a campaign of “rampant” incitement against Israel. Netanyahu specifically criticized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the heroes’ welcome he gave a group of Palestinian prisoners, most convicted of murdering Israelis, who were released from Israeli jails on Tuesday. In the days before Kerry’s latest trip to Jerusalem, Palestinian leaders have likewise accused Israel of trying to sabotage the talks aimed at ending their decades-old conflict.

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