'Kerry, You Coward!': Palestinians Protest Arrival of US Envoy in Occupied West Bank

Palestinian protesters greeted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Ramallah on Friday with chants of “Kerry, you coward” and “Kerry go home” as he traveled to the West Bank to meet with Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, amid the latest round of talks between the Israeli government and the PA.

Palestinian critics of Kerry say the negotiations have so far favored the demands of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom Kerry met with on Thursday and Friday morning before heading to the West Bank.

Reuters reports:

The goal of the current negotiations, according to the U.S. delegation, is to come to a “framework agreement” between the two parties, in which the Israelis and Abbas’ PA can map out a path towards a future agreement to be signed in April.

“The U.S. does not set an end to those violations as a goal of these peace talks – let alone as a precondition. If it did, Israel would have to end its occupation of the 1967 territories and recognize the Palestinians’ right of return unilaterally – ending violations shouldn’t require negotiations.” –Phylllis Bennis

However, Yasser Abed Rabbo, Abbas’s deputy in the Palestine Liberation Organization, said the “framework agreement” for a peace deal “restricts Palestinian sovereignty on Palestinian land.”

While Kerry said yesterday that an agreement between the two is “not mission impossible,” Netanyahu portrayed the opposite sentiment, claiming that the Palestinian leader is someone who embraces terrorists “as heroes” in a press conference following their meeting.

Netanyahu also recently proposed plans to build 1,400 housing units in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

However, Kerry has called such settlements “illegitimate,” as they are illegal under international law.