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Report: Kerry bound for Israel next week

(JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is set to return to Israel and the Palestinian territories next week to push for a revival of peace talks.

Reuters reported Friday that sources in Israel and the Palestinian Authority confirmed that Kerry was slated to arrive on June 11-12 for what will be his fifth visit to the region in the last two months

A senior American official indicated in March that Washington would try to breathe new life into the peace effort for two months and would move on if it proved fruitless.

Kerry said earlier this week that time was running out to resume negotiations, which broke down in 2010 over the issue of continued Jewish settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Speaking in Washington on June 3, Kerry warned that this might be the last chance to secure a two state solution, with independent Palestinian and Israeli states living side-by-side in harmony.

“The status quo is simply not sustainable,” he said. “We will find ourselves in a negative spiral of responses and counter-responses that could literally slam the door on a two-state solution.”

The Palestinians say there must be a settlement freeze prior to negotiations, saying continued building would make a mockery of any negotiations. Israel says there should be no preconditions to talks.

Looking to break the deadlock, officials say Kerry is seeking goodwill gestures to pave the way for talks.

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