Kerry, Netanyahu Phone Call “Cut Off” as Tensions Run High

August 6, 2014

3 min read

Kerry Apartheid

A phone call between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry was mysteriously disconnected on Sunday.

According to various media reports, the two have not spoken since, giving rise to increased speculation surrounding strained diplomatic relations between Jerusalem and Washington.

Citing a “communications issue,” US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that “their phone call was cut off.”

When asked by one reporter if Netanyahu hung up on Kerry out of anger, Psaki responded: “Sometimes calls get cut off. You – it was a brief call, is what I’m trying to convey. There was nothing…There was nothing interesting about it, no. That was not the case. That was not the case.”

Tensions have been running high recently between Israel and the US over American led ceasefire efforts between Israel and Hamas. US President Barack Obama has been heavily pressuring Israel to give in to ceasefire demands and end its operations in Gaza.

Kerry, who has been shuttling around the Middle East, turning to Qatar and Turkey as mediators, has come under fire by Israel for his handling of the negotiations. Qatar and Turkey are both known to have extremely close ties with Hamas.

Last week, after meeting with representatives from Qatar and Turkey, Kerry presented a ceasefire proposal to Israel. Israel’s Security Cabinet unanimously rejected the proposal, saying it gave in to most of Hamas’s demands while not taking into account Israel’s main security concerns.


Kerry’s efforts have completely undermined the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, which Israel accepted more than three weeks ago. Under new Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt has shown increasing hostility towards radical Islamist groups, especially the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

In an interview Tuesday night with the BBC, Kerry justified his shuttle diplomacy, arguing that a ceasefire in Gaza was a precursor to a larger negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, with a two-state solution being the final goal.

A view of a tunnel reportedly dug by Palestinians beneath the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel and recently uncovered by Israeli troops, on October 13, 2013. (Photo: David Buimovitch/Flash90)
A view of a tunnel reportedly dug by Palestinians beneath the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel and recently uncovered by Israeli troops, on October 13, 2013. (Photo: David Buimovitch/Flash90)

“You have to begin to make life better for the Palestinians,” the secretary said.

He added that the US supports opening all crossing into Gaza “to get food in and reconstruct, and have greater freedom, but that has to come with a greater responsibility towards Israel, which means giving up rockets and moving into a different place.”

While Israel has not blocked humanitarian aid into Gaza, and on the contrary has been shipping in tons of immediate medical and other humanitarian supplies into the Strip, Israel has been weary to allow the free passage of goods and people into the Strip.

As revealed via Operation Protective Edge, Hamas, the ruling terror group in Gaza, has been exploiting humanitarian goods that come into Gaza and utilizing them to carry out terror attacks. Several million tons of cement, which should have been used to build schools, hospitals and homes, were stolen by Hamas and used to build terror tunnels.

However, despite all these issues and despite the fact that Hamas has announced repeatedly it would not concede to any Israeli demands, Kerry remains optimistic. He believes that a true solution in Gaza would only come when there is “a bigger, broader approach to the underlying issues of two states.”

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