(JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for an end to incitement to violence against Israelis during a meeting in Berlin.
Netanyahu singled out Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for blame.
“I think it’s time for the international community to say clearly to President Abbas: Stop spreading lies about Israel. Lies that Israel wants to change the status quo on the Temple Mount, lies that Israel wants to tear down the al-Aqsa Mosque and lies that Israel is executing Palestinians. All that is false, Netanyahu said Thursday during their meeting.
“We have to stop the incitement, we have to stop the violence,” Kerry said at the meeting, though he did not assign any blame. He also said that the leaders need to “settle on the steps that will be taken that take us beyond the condemnation and beyond the rhetoric” and move toward a larger peace process.
Deadly Palestinian attacks on Israelis have sharply increased in recent weeks amid tensions over the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif, a Jerusalem site holy to Jews and Muslims. Driving the tensions in part have been reports among the Palestinians that Israel is planning to alter the site, which houses a mosque compound. Abbas himself has made the charge, which Netanyahu vehemently denies.
Netanyahu also said that “Israel is acting to protect its citizens as any democracy would in the face of such wanton and relentless attacks.”
Netanyahu is scheduled to meet in Berlin with the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.
Kerry is scheduled to meet over the weekend in Amman with Jordan’s King Abdullah, as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.