Photo: Reuters
US Secretary of State John Kerry
Photo: Reuters

Abbas to meet Kerry in Amman on Thursday

After Netanyahu, Abbas exchange verbal blows, Jordan recalls Israeli ambassador, Kerry to travel to region to hold talks with Jordan's king; on agenda: Jerusalem, Islamic State, Iran.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is to meet Washington's top diplomat to discuss the upsurge in violence in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, his spokesman told AFP Wednesday.



The meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry will take place in the Jordanian capital at 1 pm on Thursday, Nabil Abu Rudeina said.


Kerry will travel to Jordan on Wednesday for discussions with King Abdullah about tensions in Jerusalem and the fight against the Islamic State militant group in the region, the State Department said.


Kerry will go on to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Friday to participate in the Sir Bani Yas Forum, an annual private gathering of world leaders focused on international security, a department statement said.


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Kerry returns to the Middle East after he attended an Asia-Pacific summit in Beijing on Tuesday. He was in Oman earlier this week for two days of talks on the Iranian nuclear dispute with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and European Union envoy Catherine Ashton.


Jordan recalled its ambassador from Israel on Nov. 5, the first time it has taken such action since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1994, denouncing what Amman called "violations" at the al-Aqsa mosque.


Tensions over the compound, the third holiest site in Islam and the holiest place in Judaism, have fueled repeated clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians in recent weeks, culminating in a one-day closure of the mosque last month.


Tensions have also begun spilling over into the West Bank and Israel, leading to massive Palestinian protests, and a number of terror attacks, the most recent on Sunday, which saw a soldier and an Israeli women killed in two separate incidents.


Fighting words

Israeli and Palestinians leaders have been exchanging verbal blows as tensions in the street reached fever pitch.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday night a series of steps to be taken by his administration to combat the wave of violence sweeping the nation, including punitive measures against the parents of minors involved in clashes.


The Israeli leader stressed that his Palestinian counterpart was contributing to the anger on the Arab street. "Abu Mazen (Abbas) is not a partner to the effort against the incitement. He has proven how irresponsible he is – instead of calming tensions, he stokes them."


"Instead of telling the truth, he is spreading lies as if we are attempting to change the status of holy sites. Instead of educating his people on peace, he is teaching them terror," he emphasized.


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of dragging the region into a religious war and vowed that the Palestinians would never agree to Jewish prayer on the Muslim-controlled Temple Mount.


"Israel's leaders are making a huge mistake if they think they can now establish facts on the ground and divide prayer times at the al-Aqsa Mosque as they did at the Cave of the Patriarchs," he said in a fiery speech in Ramallah to mark the tenth anniversary of Yasser Arafat's death. "By doing these things they are leading the region and the world into a devastating religious war."


Reuters and AFP contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 11.12.14, 08:38
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