US secretary of state urges sides to avoid provocative statements that can inflame tensions further, saying ‘This violence and any incitement to violence has got to stop.’
US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday he plans to travel to the Middle East to try to calm violence between Palestinians and Israelis and move the situation “away from this precipice.”
The trip would mark Kerry’s most direct efforts to broker peace between the two sides since talks led by the United States failed last year.
“I will go there soon, at some point appropriately, and try to work to reengage and see if we can’t move that away from this precipice,” Kerry told an audience at an event sponsored by Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting of his security cabinet, and officials said Israel was considering whether to seal off Palestinian districts in East Jerusalem, home of many of the assailants of the past two weeks, from the rest of the city.
Kerry said the United States’ goal for the region, the two-state solution, “could conceivably be stolen from everybody” if violence were to spiral out of control.