Yesterday the American Secretary of State John Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and later on went to Ramallah to meet Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas.
Kerry made his way to Ramallah after stating that “Israel has every right to defend itself from terrorist attacks”.
With Abbas, he focused on ways of calming the situation in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.
“Kerry did not carry any new ideas to solve the current crisis,” one PA official said. The official also added that Abu Mazen warned during the meeting that Israel’s actions in Jerusalem and the in the occupied West Bank were the cause of the current wave of violence, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Also, as stated by the Jerusalem Post, PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat, who attended the meeting, said Abbas handed over to Kerry five “files.” One file, Erekat said, was about the 95 Palestinians killed since the beginning of October until November 23, while another contained details about the bodies of Palestinian assailants held by Israeli authorities.
The remaining files, according to Erekat, were related to illegal settlement activities, Israeli “incitement” against Palestinians, and recent security measures taken by the IOF in the occupied West Bank, in general, and Hebron, in particular.
After meeting with Abbas, Kerry said he had a long, very constructive and serious conversation with the Palestinian President:
“I want to say that I know the situation for Palestinians at this time is very dire, that there are extraordinary concerns, obviously, about the violence.I want to make it very clear that I’m here at the request of President Obama to see what we can do to try to help contribute to calm and to restore people’s confidence in the ability of a two-state solution to still be viable, to be achieved at some point. We are committed to that, two states with two peoples living side by side in peace and security”, Kerry said.
During the morning, while Kerry was in Jerusalem, several Palestinian parties condemned HIS statements describing the Palestinian attacks as “acts of terrorism”. They also stated that he was unwelcome in Ramallah.
Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine among other Palestinian parties, called on the PA leadership to boycott Kerry once that his statements were “offensive to the blood of the martyrs and a provocation against the feelings of our people” and that the main purpose of Kerry’s visit to the region was to “thwart the intifada.”
Meanwhile, in downtown Ramallah, as Kerry was with Abbas, representatives of Fatah and other Palestinian parties held a protest and called for the expulsion of the US secretary of state from the city.