Israel, Palestine told to agree on 1967 borders

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted on Wednesday that Israel and a future Palestine should live as two states based on the territory they held before the 1967 Six Day War. Kerry, in a major speech on the frozen Middle East peace process, said “equivalent swaps” of land could happen to modify the border, but only by mutual consent. Jerusalem, he argued, should be recognised as the capital of both states and those countries that do not recognise Israel as a Jewish state should do so.

“It is up to Israelis and Palestinians to make the difficult choices for peace but we can all help,” he said, laying out the United States recommendations for reviving the peace effort. Kerry laid out a proposal for peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, less than a month before Donald Trump administration takes office and at a low point in US-Israeli relations. Kerry’s speech was widely seen as an attempt to set the Obama administration’s Middle East policy in stone before the January 20 changeover. — AFP