US to unveil 'new vision' for Palestinian-Israeli peace process

US to unveil 'new vision' for Palestinian-Israeli peace process
Despite Barack Obama's administration having just weeks left in power, US Secretary of State John Kerry is pushing for a new peace plan between Israel and Palestine.
2 min read
28 December, 2016
Kerry wants to make a final push for peace between Israel and Palestine [AFP]

US Secretary of State John Kerry will unveil a new "comprehensive vision" of how to revive the Israel-Palestinian peace process in a major speech on Wednesday.

President Barack Obama's administration, including Kerry, is to leave office in four weeks and last week gravely offended Israel by failing to veto a critical UN resolution.

But US officials said they plan to keep pushing both Israel and the Palestinian leadership to take concrete steps to revive talks on a two-state solution to the conflict.

Toner said Kerry believes "it is his duty in his remaining weeks and days as secretary of state to lay out what he believes is a way towards a two-state solution".

"It's always important to keep the process moving forward," Toner said. "We haven't given up on this and we don't think the Israelis and Palestinians should do either." 

Officials said Kerry would make the speech to an invited audience, including the Washington diplomatic corps, at the state department.

On Friday, in a historic move, the US failed to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning its ally Israel's building of settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government and many of Israel's supporters in Washington reacted with fury and accused Obama of working behind the scenes to betray them.

US President-elect Donald Trump, who takes office on 20 January, has signalled he will take a softer line on Israeli settlement building by promising to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

He has also nominated as US ambassador to Israel an American-Jewish lawyer known as a strong supporter of the settlement movement.