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Israeli minister warns Palestinians to pay for UN move

An Israeli minister on Wednesday warned of punitive action if the Palestinians pursued efforts to join UN agencies, as hopes of a breakthrough in the US-led peace process faded rapidly. In a surprise announcement late on Tuesday, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said he had begun steps to join 15 UN agencies, angering Israel and prompting US Secretary of State John Kerry to cancel an imminent a trip to Ramallah.

Israel, Palestinian moves threaten to derail US efforts

Israel and the Palestinians announced moves Tuesday that could scuttle peace talks, prompting US Secretary of State John Kerry to call off a second visit in as many days aimed at saving them. Earlier in the day, Kerry had wrapped up a lightning visit to Israel, planning to return to the region on Wednesday in hopes of convincing the Palestinians to extend the faltering talks beyond their April 29 deadline.

Kerry says too early to draw conclusions about Israel-Palestinian talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. President John Kerry said on Tuesday it was too early to draw conclusions about the prospects in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, saying "a lot of possibilities" were in play. Kerry said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had agreed to keep his promise to continue negotiating with Israel until the end of the month.

Kerry cancels meeting with Abbas in Ramallah

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday called off a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah for last-minute talks on extending peace talks with Israel, a senior State Department official said. "We are no longer travelling tomorrow. We are in close touch with the team on the ground," the official said. (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; editing by Andrew Roche)

Kerry says too early to draw conclusions about Israel-Palestinian talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday it was too early to draw conclusions about the prospects in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, saying "a lot of possibilities" were in play. Kerry said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had agreed to keep his promise to continue negotiating with Israel until the end of the month.

Abbas signs international conventions, jeopardizing peace moves

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed more than a dozen international conventions on Tuesday citing anger at Israel's delay of a prisoner release, in a move jeopardized U.S. efforts to salvage fragile peace talks. His unexpected decision came just a day before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had been due to travel to Ramallah for talks aimed at finalizing a complex, three-way deal that would enable the talks to continue into 2015.

Kerry to return to Mideast in bid to save peace talks

Washington's top diplomat wrapped up a lightning visit to Israel Tuesday but was to return within 24 hours as speculation grew that a jailed US-Israeli spy may be key to saving peace talks. But as US Secretary of State John Kerry departed, Israel reissued a call for tenders for hundreds of settler homes in annexed east Jerusalem, in a move likely to exacerbate Palestinian opposition to continue negotiating.

Kerry wraps up whirlwind Israel visit, due back Wednesday

Washington's top diplomat wrapped up a lightning visit to Israel Tuesday but was to return within 24 hours as speculation grew that a jailed US-Israeli spy could be key to saving peace talks. After flying in from Paris on Monday evening, US Secretary of State John Kerry met for two hours with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, before entering talks with Palestinian negotiators at his Jerusalem hotel.

Kerry wraps up whirlwind Israel visit, due back Wednesday

Washington's top diplomat met Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday for the second time in 12 hours, as sources said a jailed US-Israeli spy could be key to saving troubled peace talks. US peace efforts are teetering on the brink of collapse after Israel refused to free a group of 26 veteran Palestinian prisoners under an agreement that brought the sides back to the negotiating table in July 2013.

Palestinians in talks ultimatum as Kerry meets Netanyahu

The Palestinians have given Washington's top diplomat John Kerry until Tuesday to resolve a dispute with Israel over the release of prisoners after he flew in to salvage crisis-hit peace talks. US peace efforts are teetering on the brink of collapse after Israel refused to free a group of 26 veteran Palestinians under an agreement that brought the sides back to the negotiating table in July 2013.
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