US Secretary of State John Kerry told a press conference in Paris on Sunday that America is still set on forcing Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) into a peace deal, but that "global" efforts would be needed.
"Obviously we're all looking for a way forward. The United States and myself remain deeply committed to a two state solution. It is absolutely essential," Kerry said, when asked about US plans regarding a French initiative to force Israel into concessions or else recognize "Palestine." France's new foreign minister has toned down the ultimatum while maintaining the push for peace talks.
"There's not any one country or one person who can resolve this. This is going to require the global community, it will require international support," Kerry continued, in the conference that was also attended by European foreign ministers.
His reference to the "global community" comes in the wake of a Wall Street Journal report last week, which cited senior US officials revealing US President Barack Obama intends to use the UN to divide Jerusalem. According to the officials, Obama intends to no longer veto anti-Israel resolutions at the UN Security Council, and thereby pressure Israel into concessions.
Just last week Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi met with Rob Malley, a Special Assistant to Obama, and called for the UN to play a more significant role in "ending the occupation," in what appears to be a reference to Obama's plans.
US officials told Reuters Sunday that the Obama administration is looking at different ways to revive the two state solution, according to which Israel will be divided to create a Palestinian state. Kerry led the last attempt at peace talks, which were torpedoed by the PA in April 2014 when it signed a unity deal with Hamas.
"We're talking about any number of different ways to try to change the situation on the ground in an effort to try to generate some confidence," Kerry said Sunday. "So we are listening carefully to the French proposal."
"At the moment it's a difficult one, because of the violence that has been taking place, and there are not many people in Israel or in the region itself right now that believe in the possibilities of peace because of those levels of violence," he admitted.
In the wake of the ongoing Arab terror wave indirectly mentioned by Kerry, a Pew poll released last Tuesday found that no fewer than 48% of Israeli Jews are in favor of expelling Arabs from Israel, whereas 46% oppose the move.