Israel Has the Right to Defend Itself, Kerry Tells Netanyahu
Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday evening telephoned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and reiterated his remarks in an interview on NPR radio in the United States, in which he said that Israelis have the right to defend themselves against violence in Jerusalem’s Old City and everywhere.
Kerry also told Netanyahu that the Palestinians must end the incitement and that Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas must condemn the violence in a loud and clear voice, as he had said in that same interview.
Netanyahu told Kerry that the recent violence stems directly from incitement by the Palestinian Authority headed by Abbas, as well as Hamas and the Islamic Movement.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, later told CNN that the two agreed to try to meet in Berlin next week, during Netanyahu’s visit to the German capital where he will hold a working meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“I know they were trying to work something out, because the prime minister is traveling to Germany to talk to Angela Merkel, and so Secretary of State Kerry will travel there to make it happen,” Dermer said.
The State Department was not immediately able to confirm that Kerry plans to meet the Israeli leader, but the news broke as he was already on a flight to Europe for planned meetings in Milan, Madrid and Paris.
The conversation between Kerry and Netanyahu took place after several controversial statements Kerry made this week, including an interview in which he said that the latest violence was because of Israeli “settlement activity”.
His spokesman later explained to reporters that the Secretary of State was not assigning blame when he said a “massive increase in settlements” over the past year had been followed by the current outbreak of violence.