According to the report, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators who recently met in Washington to discuss timetables for negotiations, also discussed the fate of West Bank settlements and the possibility of land swaps.
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In separate phone calls Kerry assured the congressmen, most of whom were pro-Israel, that Israel's interests are being safeguarded. According to one congressman, Kerry said he believed 85% of Israel's biggest settlement blocs will remain under Israeli sovereignty. He added that the US administration had safeguarded Israel's interests.
The congressman, who described himself a true friend of Israel, asked Kerry whether the Palestinians will ever recognize Israel as a Jewish state, to which the secretary of state reportedly replied "that's one of my goals. A homeland for the Jewish people."
The congressman got the impression that all core issues had been raised during the Washington meetings, including the question when to discuss the status of Jerusalem. According to him, Kerry was optimistic and said "We had a good start."
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