Netanyahu and Kerry discuss Palestinian terror in Israel, urge calm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the recent wave of Palestinian violence, and called for calm. No such statement was issued by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. 

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News
Mahmoud Abbas

PA head Mahmoud Abbas. (Flash90)

Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke on Friday night with US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the wave of Palestinian terror that has been plaguing Israel, and ways to restore calm in the country.

According to a statement by Netanyahu’s office, the premier made it clear that he expects the Palestinian Authority (PA) to stop its “wild and mendacious incitement, which is causing the current wave of terrorism.”

Kerry clarified, according to the statement, that “the US is aware” of the fact that it is Israel’s policy to maintain the status quo on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and not change it.

The US State Department said in a statement that Kerry spoke separately with Netanyahu and PA head Mahmoud Abbas to “express his deep concern” over the recent wave of violence and “offer his support for efforts to restore calm as soon as possible.”

He reiterated the importance of “strongly condemning” violence and combating incitement, and taking affirmative steps to reduce tensions.

He again stressed the importance of upholding the status quo “in word and deed” at the Temple Mount and of “preventing inflammatory rhetoric and actions that will increase tensions.”

He made clear he will continue to “follow the situation closely” and that the US “will remain engaged in efforts to restore calm.”

Israeli’s IDF Radio reported Saturday that a multi-national delegation of foreign ministers led by the US and Kerry is forming and is slated to land in Israel on Wednesday in an attempt to calm the violence and bring both sides to understandings.

Wave of Terror – Result of Palestinian Incitement

The recent series of attacks against Israelis is the direct result of incitement by radical Islamist and terrorist elements, calling on Palestinian youth to murder Jews.

The incitement includes the spread of false claims against Israel, in particular regarding the status quo on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

temple mount jerusalem

Palestinians riot on the Temple Mount. (Flash90)

The culture of hate in the Palestinian media, schools and social networks, together with the statements of Palestinian leaders, has reached new and gruesome heights.

The Palestinian Authority leadership, including Abbas, are using inflammatory Islamic rhetoric to spread false and malicious claims against Israel, and treat those who engage in the murder of Israelis as heroes. “These statements amount to official incitement to violence and can only serve to exacerbate the situation,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Muslim terrorists are bringing explosive devices, Molotov cocktails and other weaponry onto the Temple Mount, thus deliberately desecrating, damaging and endangering the holy site and turning it into a battle field.

“The militarization of a site revered by all should be universally condemned. The aim of these elements is to change the status quo and to prevent visits by non-Muslims on the Mount,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry added in the Sunday statement.

The status quo protects the right of Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount, as well as the freedom of all people, whether Muslims, Christians, Jews or others, to visit the Mount. Visits to the Temple Mount over the past year included nearly 4,000,000 entries by Muslims, about 200,000 entries by Christians, and about 12,000 entries by Jews.

“Israel, for its part, is making every effort to restore calm. It guarantees freedom of worship for members of all faiths and is strongly committed to maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount. Israel has never made any attempt to change the status quo, and any claim to the contrary is a lie,” the statement said.

“Israel also remains committed to dialogue with the Palestinian leadership and would like to see the renewal of direct peace talks as soon as possible,” the Foreign Ministry added.