The American Secretary of State, John Kerry, arrived in Jerusalem this Tuesday morning for a short visit. Following his meeting with Netanyahu, he will head to Ramallah for a meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas, and fly out later that night.
This morning, during his meeting with Netanyahu, Kerry stated that Israel has the right to defend itself against terror attacks on civilians and expressed “complete condemnation for any act of terror that takes innocent lives and disrupts the day-to-day life of a nation”, according to Haaretz.
“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,” Kerry told reporters, with Netanyahu at his side.
He also stated that “the Palestinians could do more on their side to condemn these attacks and prevent them from happening”.
Before meeting with Kerry, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that there can be no peace when Israel is facing an “onslaught of terror.” He said that the entire world is witness to militant Islamic terrorism and that Israel is fighting those forces directly and indirectly, by targeting the sources of incitement, as stated by Haaretz.
Two weeks ago, while visiting the United States, Netanyahu demanded the U.S. to recognize the construction of new settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank in order to implement a package of measures there.
Meanwhile, Palestinian officials are not expecting any new ideas from Kerry to calm the situation. Fayez Abu Aiatah, a spokesman for Abbas`s Fatah party, said that the PA leadership has already told Kerry that a real political solution for the Palestinian issue was the only way to achieve calm, as stated by the Jerusalem Post.
“He (Kerry) showed understanding for Israel’s right to self-defense while ignoring the Palestinians’ right to defend themselves against Israel’s state terrorism and summary executions,” Aiatah told the Palestinian Khabar news agency.
Another senior Fatah official, Amin Maqboul, said that Kerry’s “delusional” mission would fail, adding that the Americans are only interested in serving Israeli interests at the Palestinians’ expense. And PLO Executive Committee member Wasel Abu Yusef said that Kerry was coming to the region to “protect the occupation against any attempt to hold it accountable for its continued crimes against the Palestinians.”
Many Palestinian groups have called for a day of anger across the occupied West Bank in protest against Kerry`s visit.