U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talked about the increasingly tense relationship between Israel and Palestine Saturday at the Saban Forum in Washington, warning if the current climate holds, it's unclear how long the Palestinian Authority can survive. Kerry posed the question: "If there is a risk the Palestinian Authority might collapse and Israel wants it to survive, shouldn't Israel do more to help sustain it?" the Israeli newspaper Hareetz reported. "Without the Palestinian Authority Israel will be responsible for civil administration of the West Bank -- it costs billions," Kerry said.
At #Saban15, stressed that changing the dynamic btwn Israel & Palestinians requires courage, leadership, & difficult choices by both sides.
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) December 5, 2015
Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have grown amid increased violence. Palestinians have killed at least 19 Israelis and one U.S. citizen since Oct. 1 in stabbings, car rammings and shootings, Reuters reported in late November. Israeli forces, meanwhile, have killed 94 Palestinians, many of whom were clashing with police, in the same time period. Palestinian unfounded allegations that Israel was attempting to change the status of the Temple Mount holy site in Jerusalem partially fueled the uptick in violence.
Kerry said at the conference at the Brookings Institution Saturday the Palestinian leadership must do more to prevent and fight anti-Israel violence, but Israel also cannot allow the Palestinian Authority to fall, the Associated Press reported. He also lamented that Israeli settlements were expanding further into areas Palestinians considered part of a future state while denying permits for Palestinian projects in territories that would be negotiated over as part of an eventual peace agreement. Kerry urged leaders on both sides to recommit to a two-state solution.
"The one-state solution is no solution at all," Kerry said, according to the Brookings Institution, which hosted the event.
— Brookings FP (@BrookingsFP) December 5, 2015
Kerry also said the time to for the two sides to come together has arrived, calling for urgent action."If you are not sitting down, if all you are doing is hurling invective at each other on a daily basis, there is no prayer of beginning that kind of conversation," he said.