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Kerry pledges to protect Israel’s security in meeting with Netanyahu

JTA

December 5, 2013 | 9:48 am

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a news conference following a meeting at Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem on Dec. 5. Photo by Gali Tibbon/Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a news conference following a meeting at Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem on Dec. 5. Photo by Gali Tibbon/Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said progress is being made in the current Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

At a news conference in Jerusalem Thursday following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Kerry also pledged that the Obama administration would consult Israel on a final deal on Iran’s nuclear program. He reiterated that the United States was committed to Israel’s security.

Netanyahu said Israel is ready to complete a peace deal with the Palestinians and asserted that Israel must be able to protect itself. He called on Palestinian leaders to stop “grandstanding and finger pointing.”

Kerry was scheduled to meet in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas later Thursday and again with Netanyahu Thursday evening and Friday morning before returning to Washington.

Kerry reportedly was going to bring to the meeting proposals for security arrangements in the West Bank to be included in an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

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