(JERUSALEM) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put a damper on hopes that a Middle East peace deal could be reached this year by openly questioning the motives of Palestinian leaders.
Netanyahu gave his opinion during a joint news conference in Jerusalem Thursday with Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been working tirelessly to bring the two longtime enemies together.
With Kerry by his side, Netanyahu declared, "Given the actions and words of Palestinian leaders, we have doubts in Israel that they are committed to peace."
The Israeli prime minister accused his Palestinian counterparts of using belligerent rhetoric to turn their people against Israel.
Kerry said he would speak with both Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas "to narrow differences on a framework that will set guidelines for negotiations."
"My role is not to impose U.S. ideas but to facilitate the ideas of both parties," Kerry said.
Although the Israelis and Palestinians have been talking, their differences are significant, including figuring out the borders of a potential Palestinian state, the future of East Jerusalem and the ongoing dispute about Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
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