US Secretary of State John Kerry attributed on Tuesday evening the current wave of terror to strike Israel to Palestinian “frustration” over the “massive increase in settlements.”
Speaking at Harvard University, the secretary warned that “unless we get going, the two-state solution will be conceivably stolen from everybody.”
During a question-and-answer session following his talk, Kerry linked Israeli construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria as a reasonable excuse for Palestinian violence and terror.
“There’s been a massive increase in settlement over the course of the last years and there’s an increase in the violence because there’s this frustration that’s growing,” he said, adding that there is also a growing “frustration among Israelis who don’t see any end.”
“I look at that and I say if that did explode – and I pray and hope it won’t – and I think there’s options to prevent that, then we would inevitably be at some point engaged in working through those kinds of difficulties,” Kerry explained.
The US official expressed his confusion over why previous peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have failed, arguing that many people have a sense of how to permanently resolve the conflict.
“So better to find the ways to deal with it before that happens than later and I think what always perplexes me – we’ve been through Oslo, Wye Plantation, Madrid, countless negotiations. Most people I talk to have a pretty damn good sense of what has to be done.”
“It’s a question of making the judgements and having the courage to go there,” Kerry said, adding that “we have 16 months left in this administration and we’re going to stay engaged and try to work through these issues because there are options and there is a better other side to the current conflict we’re witnessing.”
The last US-backed peace talks collapsed in April 2014 following nine months of back-and-fourth negotiations. Kerry revealed he would be visiting Israel “soon” to push for a fresh round of talks to “see if we can’t move away from this precipice.”
On Tuesday, Israel was victim to an unprecedented surge in terror incidents across the country. Three Israelis were killed and over 20 injured. Kerry condemned the attacks earlier in the day, saying “this violence and any incitement to violence has got to stop.”