Negativity And Criticism Await John Kerry In The Middle East

by
Sameera Ehteram
Burnt vehicles and graffiti in Hebrew reading "blood will be spilled in Judea and Samaria" and “regards to John Kerry” were found sprayed on the walls of buildings in the town of Dahiya al-Zaraa, near Ramallah in the West Bank on Tuesday morning.

The Israelis Angry

Burnt vehicles and graffiti in Hebrew reading "blood will be spilled in Judea and Samaria" and “regards to John Kerry” were found sprayed on the walls of buildings in the town of Dahiya al-Zaraa, near Ramallah in the West Bank on Tuesday morning.

No one is certain what this reflects, but it could be related to the release of 26 long-term Palestinian prisoners by Israel.

People in Israel are not happy. All 26 men had been convicted of violent crimes, including murders and terror attacks.

Israel on the one hand has released these prisoners; sending waves of joy in Palestine; on the other hand it plans to go ahead with the settlements in Gaza, something that faces a lot of criticism.

Those who criticize the prisoner release put the blame on the Israeli Premier Netanyahu and the powerful settler lobby, feeling very strongly that the government should have chosen to stop settlement construction instead of freeing convicted murderers to build confidence between the two sides.

On Monday night, dozens of protesters, armed with black umbrellas, marched from the Prime Minister’s Residence to the Old City of Jerusalem, where 15 of them demonstrated outside the home of Ahmed Halaf, one of the 26 prisoners released.

The US State Department, however, praised the prime minister for releasing the prisoners.

“The Israeli government’s commitment to release Palestinian prisoners helped enable the start and continuation of the final status negotiations, and we believe this is a positive step forward in the overall process,” said U. S State Department spokesperson Marie Harf.

The negativity is something that US Secretary of State John Kerry can ill-afford ahead of his visit to the region, where he will present a "framework agreement" to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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