Kerry and Netanyahu

US Secretary John Kerry pets Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s dog Kaya at a meeting at the PM’s residence in Jerusalem Tuesday. (Matty Stern/US Embassy Tel Aviv )

Netanyahu told Kerry, who was on a visit to the region, that there will be no building freeze in Judea and Samaria, and he blamed the Palestinian leadership for inciting the current wave of terror.

There will be no “settlement freeze,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John Kerry at a reportedly friendly meeting in Jerusalem Tuesday morning.

Netanyahu said there will be no halt in construction in the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria and in Jerusalem, according to a senior government official. The Israeli leader also blamed the current wave of violence on the Palestinian leadership, both in Gaza and in the Palestinian Authority-administered territories, citing continuous incitement against Israelis.

As long as the Palestinian terror continues, Netanyahu said, there will be no assistance given to the PA vis-à-vis economic development and the advancement of infrastructure.

The two leaders “discussed regional security issues, with a focus on Syria and ISIS,” the Prime Minister’s Office stated. “They also discussed steps that can be taken to stop the wave of violence against Israeli citizens and to restore calm and stability.”

Kerry: Israel Obligated to Defend Itself

Earlier in the day, Kerry acknowledged the reality of Palestinian incitement and terror. “Clearly, no people anywhere should live with daily violence, with attacks in the streets, with knives or scissors or cars. And it is very clear to us that the terrorism, these acts of terrorism which have been taking place, deserve the condemnation that they are receiving, and today I expressed my complete condemnation for any act of terror that takes innocent lives and disrupts the day-to-day life of a nation,” he said.

Mass funeral for terrorists in Hebron

Palestinian officials attended a mass funeral for five terrorists in Hebron recently. (Flash90)

“Israel has every right in the world to defend itself,” he added. “It has an obligation to defend itself. And it will and it is. Our thoughts and prayers are with innocent people who have been hurt in this process.”

Kerry also gave mention to Ziv Mizrahi, an 18-year-old IDF soldier who was murdered in a terror attack on Monday.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and those who were wounded, their families,” he said. Regrettably, several Americans have also been killed in the course of these past weeks, and just yesterday I talked to the family of Ezra Schwartz from Massachusetts, a young man who came here out of high school, ready to go to college, excited about his future, and yesterday his family was sitting shiva, and I talked to them and heard their feelings, the feelings of any parent for the loss of a child.”

US President Barack Obama made a condolence call Monday to Schwartz’s parents.

By: Terri Nir, United with Israel

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