US criticises Israel, Palestinians for jeopardising talks

An Israeli woman stands in front of pictures of Israelis who were killed by Palestinians militants near a protest tent against the release of Palestinian prisoners in front of the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, on April 1, 2014Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – Israel and the Palestinians both drew criticism from the White House on Wednesday for tit-for-tat moves that have brought US-sponsored peace talks close to collapse. More than 15 months of repeated rounds of shuttle diplomacy by Secretary of State John Kerry were in jeopardy after Israel made a new bid to expand settlements in annexed Arab east Jerusalem and the Palestinians took fresh steps towards seeking recognition of their promised state. White House deputy spokesman Josh Earnest expressed disappointment at “unhelpful, unilateral actions both parties have taken in recent days”. “There is a path for us to diplomatically find a way for there to be a safe, secure Jewish state of Israel existing alongside an independent, secure Palestinian state as well,” Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One.

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