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Kerry Meets with Israeli, Palestinian Leaders on Violence

  • Pamela Dockins

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center, arrives to the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center, arrives to the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Secretary of State John Kerry has wrapped up talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders that focused on ways to curb spiraling violence.

"No people anywhere should live with daily violence, with attacks in the streets, with knives or scissors or cars," said Kerry as he headed into talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Netanyahu said there could be "no peace" when there was an "onslaught of terror."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry brief the media before their meeting at Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, Nov. 24, 2015.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry brief the media before their meeting at Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, Nov. 24, 2015.

The State Department said the two discussed steps that could be taken to stop the violence and strengthen security cooperation.

Over the past two months, at least 89 Palestinians have been killed in unrest as well as 19 Israelis and an American student.

Palestinians have been angered over what they view as Jewish encroachment on a holy site in Jerusalem that is sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

They were further angered by an Israeli government decision to allow more settlement construction on occupied land.

Later, Kerry met for over two hours with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank. Kerry said they had a “long and very constructive conversation.”

“I know the situation for the Palestinians, the West Bank and Gaza is very dire,” said Kerry.

“We are here” at President Barack Obama’s instructions “to see what we can do,” he added, but provided no specifics.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, shakes hands with with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the start of their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Nov. 24, 2015.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, shakes hands with with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the start of their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Nov. 24, 2015.

During a U.N. human rights session, last month, Abbas said Netanyahu "prefers to blame Palestinians for everything." Abbas also renewed a call for international support for an effort to find a two-state solution.

Kerry traveled to Israel from the United Arab Emirates, where his talks with U.A.E. and Saudi officials focused largely efforts to find a political resolution to Syria's crisis as well as the U.S.-led coalition effort to fight Islamic State.

He said there is "no question" he would like to see U.S. efforts to fight the Islamic State move faster, but President Barack Obama has to make the decision as to which options to exercise.

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