Opposition leader Isaac Herzog presented US Secretary of State John Kerry with a plan for an Israeli pullout from the West Bank, telling him that separation is the only way forward with the Palestinians.
Meeting in Rome for the fourth time in six months, Herzog also suggested to Kerry convening a regional security conference in cooperation with Arab nations before the end of US President Barack Obama’s term next year.
“Israels are killed in the streets and the world advances surreal initiatives and boycotts. Disengagement is the only path to advance a two-state solution,” Herzog said, according to a statement from his office.
Herzog, head of the dovish Zionist Union faction, did not release details of his disengagement plan to the public.
Kerry expressed interest in the plan and said it contained elements similar to his own initiative of advancing security and cooperation in the Middle East, according to the statement.
There was no official statement after the meeting from the State Department or Kerry.
The US has largely put efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal on the backburner since talks broke down in 2014. US officials have indicated that the White House does not intend to make the issue a priority while Obama remains in office.
But Herzog pointed to near daily violence wracking the country as a reason to not put off efforts.
“Our citizens are being murdered and we must carry out a separation that will lead to a two-state solution,” he said.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.