Kerry meets with Jewish leaders


WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with a delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

The State Department on Friday posted the meeting on its schedule, noting that it is closed.

The meeting focused on the Iran nuclear talks and Israel’s conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. According to a Presidents Conference release, Kerry said the Obama administration still favored an Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire, which Israel accepted earlier this week and Hamas ignored.

“The delegation, many of whom recently visited Israel, expressed appreciation for assistance that made possible the Iron Dome missile defense system that has saved so many lives,” the release said.

“They also noted the support of the United States for Israel to take the steps necessary to defend its citizens and end the constant barrage that has seen more than 1,000 missiles hit Israel in recent days,” it said. “They urged the United States to continue to press the international community to stand by Israel, which has demonstrated remarkable restraint and gone to unprecedented lengths to avoid civilian casualties.”

Kerry on Thursday met with a delegation of Jewish members of Congress and briefed them on Israel’s conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, and talks between the major powers and Iran on Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

Kerry is believed to favor extending the Iran nuclear talks beyond the July 20 deadline.

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