PM Netanyahu (R) meets with US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the violence. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO) (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
Netanyahu Kerry

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met with US Secretary of State Kerry in Berlin on Thursday to discuss ways to end the wave of Palestinian terrorism in Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Thursday morning in Berlin with US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the Palestinian violence in Israel and ways to de-escalate tensions in the country. During a joint press conference, Netanyahu thanked the US for condemning the terrorist attacks against Israel, “for standing up for Israel’s right of self-defense, and also for standing up for Israel in UNESCO. All of that is deeply appreciated.”

Recounting a long list of Palestinian terror attacks, including the latest attack in which two terrorists tried to murder a bus full of school children, Netanyahu again charged that “there’s no question that this wave of attacks is driven directly by incitement. Incitement from Hamas. Incitement from the Islamist movement in Israel and incitement, I’m sorry to say, from President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.”

He called on the international community to side with the truth and put an end to Abbas’ murderous incitement. “I think it’s time for the international community to say clearly to President Abbas: Stop spreading lies about Israel. Lies that Israel wants to change the status quo on the temple mount, lies that Israel wants to tear down the al-Aqsa Mosque and lies that Israel is executing Palestinians. All that is false.”

“To generate hope, we have to stop the terrorism. To stop the terrorism, we have to stop the incitement. And I think it’s time that the international community told President Abbas to stop the incitement and hold him accountable for his words and his deeds,” the Israeli premier stated.

Kerry expressed his hopes that Israeli and Palestinian leaders can take steps that will “find a road forward” and end the latest violence. He added that he hoped their meeting would help “settle on the steps that will be taken that take us beyond the condemnation and beyond the rhetoric.” He said that “it is absolutely critical to end all incitement, to end all violence and to find a road forward to build the possibility which is not there today for a larger process.” “So we have to go steps, but today you and I can really rekindle that process,” he added. Kerry said that he had spoken to Jordan’s King Abdullah and Abbas yesterday, and was under the impression that “people want this to deescalate.”

Diplomatic Efforts Continue

In the meantime, the European Union’s foreign policy chief said Thursday that envoys from the United States, the EU, Russia and the United Nations will meet Friday to try to bring an end to a month-long spate of Palestinian violence. Speaking ahead of a meeting with Netanyahu, Federica Mogherini said that the grouping of Mideast mediators known as the Quartet will urge Israelis and Palestinians to calm the situation. She added the first aim will be to tamp down rhetoric coming from leaders on both sides. Mogherini said she’ll also meet the Jordanian foreign minister in Vienna and plans to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Brussels “in the coming days.”

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel AP contributed to this report.

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PA head Abbas and Hamas leader Haniyeh together.

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