U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday called for a solution to the decades old Israeli-Palestinian conflict so that there can be “hope” for both Israelis and Palestinian Arabs.
Obama made the comments during a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah at the Oval Office in Washington.
Noting that he and the Jordanian monarch discussed the situation in Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), Obama said “we continue to agree that it's important for us to provide both sides a sense of possibility and hope, and not simply despair.”
“That's hard to do,” admitted Obama, adding that he and the King “have explored ideas in terms of how we can make progress. But His Majesty has continued to be a voice of reason and moderation and tolerance for all the parties concerned in this issue. And we very much appreciate his partnership in the process.”
Obama's comments came hours after Secretary of State John Kerry condemned Israeli housing projects in Judea and Samaria.
Speaking to a congressional subcommittee hearing on the State Department’s budget request, Kerry answered questions about Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Gush Etzion and the ongoing terror wave inside Israel.
"I don't think that the situation is helped by additional settlement construction and building," he remarked.
"I think that I know we need to see measures taken on both sides to indicate a readiness and willingness to try to proceed forward and reduce the violence," Kerry added.
The West is currently attempting yet again to get Israel and the PA to resume talks, mostly in the form of an initiative by France for an international peace conference.
France, which announced the initiative late last month, has threatened to unilaterally recognize the “State of Palestine” if its peace efforts fail.
Last Thursday, the PA welcomed the French initiative, which it described as "a major possibility for challenging the status quo.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rejected the initiative, however, calling it "mystifying" and counterproductive and arguing that the proposal gives Palestinians no incentive to compromise.