Obama: We must give hope to Israelis and Palestinians

At a White House meeting on Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama and Jordan’s King Abdullah II discussed the ongoing wave of Palestinian terrorism against Israel.

Obama said Abdullah had played a vital role in “reducing some of the immediate sources of tension around the Temple Mount.”

The president continued, “We continue to agree that it’s important for us to provide both sides a sense of possibility and hope, and not simply despair. That’s hard to do. And so we have explored ideas in terms of how we can make progress.”

Obama praised Abdullah as a “voice of reason and moderation and tolerance for all the parties concerned in this issue.”

“We very much appreciate his partnership in the process,” Obama said.

Referring to the current tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, Abdullah echoed Obama’s words, saying, “These are obviously challenging times, but hope is something that we have to bring both sides.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also referred to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Wednesday, telling lawmakers at a congressional hearing, “I don’t think that the situation is helped by additional settlement construction and building. We need to see measures taken on both sides to indicate a readiness and willingness to try to proceed forward and reduce the violence.”

Meanwhile, also on Wednesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron criticized Israeli construction in east Jerusalem during a parliamentary question period.

“I am well known as being a strong friend of Israel, but I have to say the first time I visited Jerusalem and had a proper tour around that wonderful city and saw what has happened with the effective encirclement of east Jerusalem — occupied east Jerusalem — it is genuinely shocking,” Cameron said. “What this government has consistently done and gone on doing is saying yes, we are supporters of Israel, but we do not support illegal settlements, we do not support what is happening in east Jerusalem, and it’s very important that this capital city is maintained in the way that it was in the past.”