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US Secretary of State John Kerry lands in Israel

Local Editor

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in occupied lands on Wednesday for the first time since world powers struck a nuclear deal with Iran that angered the Israel.

Kerry’s arrival is amid renewed efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian so-called peace deal.

The two issues are expected to dominate meetings Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and with Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas when Kerry travels to Ramallah.

His visit comes at a time of heated debate in Israel over its alliance with the US. Last month, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman suggested that the occupying regime should seek partners other than Washington.

A state department official said Kerry would provide Netanyahyu with an update on, and “continue the discussion… on the P5+1 negotiations, the first step that was agreed to, as well as the path forward to a comprehensive agreement” with Iran.

The deal between Iran and world powers, under which G5+1 recognized Iran’s enrichment rights, was bitterly opposed by Israel as an “historic mistake”.

Kerry — on his eighth visit to the region since taking office in February — last visited Israel and the West Bank in early November, when he held a day of marathon talks with Netanyahu on the peace process.

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