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'Critical' to halt all violence: Kerry at talks with Netanyahu

AFP , Thursday 22 Oct 2015
Kerry, Netanyahu
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting in Berlin, Germany Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015 (Photo: AP)
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US Secretary of State John Kerry urged both the Palestinians and Israelis to halt "all incitement" and violence, after three weeks of Palestinian protests and repression by Israeli troops sparked fears of a new Palestinian intifada or uprising.

"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," he told journalists, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next to him as the two leaders began talks in Berlin.

"Today, we, you and I, can rekindle that process," Kerry told Netanyahu. "We've been at this, we know each other well, I believe we have the ability to make a difference."

He added that he had spoken on the phone with Jordan's King Abdullah II and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas over the past 24 hours.

"I believe people want this to de-escalate. So, let's go to work and see what we can do," said Kerry.

The two politicians, who have known each other for years, last held talks at the end of September in New York.

The current wave of protests and repression started in late July when 18-month old toddler Ali Dawabsha was burned to death and three other Palestinians severely injured after their house in the occupied West Bank was set on fire by Israeli settlers.

The parents of the toddler, Riham and Saad, and their other son Ahmad, later lost their lives after suffering serious injuries in the arson.

Palestinians have also been protesting repeated illegal Israeli and Jewish settler attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque and the closing of the Muslim holy site to worshippers on numerous occasions. Protests have taken place in occupied East Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu once again repeated his assertion that Abbas was to blame for fanning the violence.

"There is no question that this wave of attacks was driven directly by the incitement, the incitement of Hamas, the incitement of the Islamist movement in Israel and the incitement, I am sorry to say, from president Abbas and the Palestinian Authority," said Netanyahu.

"I think it is time for the international community to say clearly to president Abbas: stop spreading lies about the state of Israel," he added.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online. 

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