This week was marked by regional violence and a wary anticipation of Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework proposal. This week, Israeli troops shot and killed a Jordanian judge who tried to seize a gun from an Israeli soldier, sparking protests in Jordan. Three Palestinian Jihadist operatives were also killed, launching a barrage of rockets from Gaza into the south of Israel. A ceasefire was declared on Thursday, yet several rockets continued to be fired into Israel. On Wednesday, at the 2015 State Department Budget meeting, Secretary Kerry revealed he is still optimistic about the peace negotiations despite a sense of mistrust between both sides. Kerry also said, in a House Committee of Foreign Affairs meeting, that recognizing Israel as a Jewish State should not be a critical factor in a peace deal. Looking ahead to next week, President Barack Obama will sit down with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday, March 17 to discuss the state of the current peace negotiations.