U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met on Wednesday morning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in attempts to revive the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.
Kerry later travelled to the West Bank town of Bethlehem to see Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and promote a Palestinian economic initiative, according to the Associated Press.
In Bethlehem, Kerry said the United States will provide an additional $75 million in aid to create Palestinian jobs and help them improve roads, schools and other infrastructure.
U.S. officials say the aid is designed to boost Palestinian public support for faltering peace talks with Israel by showing them tangible benefits from the process.
After being launched in July with great fanfare, negotiations quickly ran into trouble with no visible signs of progress and both sides reverting to familiar acts of finger pointing.
Israeli and Palestinian officials have expressed their frustration over the lack of progress in the U.S.-brokered talks.
The negotiations have not succeeded in resolving core issues, such as the borders of a Palestinian state and the future of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories. In addition, the fate of Palestinian refugees has not been resolved.
The talks are set to end in April and the current deadlock has raised speculation that the U.S. may need to step up its involvement.
(With the Associated Press)