Kerry, Netanyahu to meet in Rome over Palestinian state proposals

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold an unscheduled meeting in Rome.

Kerry invited Netanyahu to the meeting ahead of a vote scheduled for later in the month at the United Nations Security Council on two motions that would declare a Palestinian state by the end of 2016, the Israeli media reported, citing unnamed officials.

The United States is working to soften the language of the motions in an effort to avoid having to exercise its veto. Israel opposes the proposals.

One motion, proposed by the Palestinians and Jordan, calls for Israel to be out of the West Bank by the end of 2016.

A French proposal coordinated with Britain and Germany calls for a permanent agreement within two years, with a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.

The meeting and the vote come as Netanyahu faces political crisis at home over new elections.