Arshad Mohammed and Lesley Wroughton
July 30, 2013
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held their first peace talks in nearly three years on Monday in a U.S.-brokered effort that Secretary of State John Kerry hopes will end their conflict despite deep divisions.
Top aides to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas began the talks over an iftar dinner – the evening meal with which Muslims break their daily fast during Ramadan – hosted by Kerry at the State Department.
Kerry, who has prodded, coaxed and cajoled the two sides to resume negotiations in a flurry of visits to the Middle East during his less than six months in office, urged Israelis and Palestinians to strike “reasonable compromises.”