President Obama Condemns Violence in Israel

President Barack Obama on Friday condemned the recent outbreak of violence in Israel and urged Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to tamp down their rhetoric.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms violence directed against innocent people,” Obama said in a news conference.

For two weeks, tensions about access to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, a holy site for both Muslims and Jews, have led to violence that has seen at least 37 Palestinians and seven Israelis killed.

Netanyahu, Abbas and other people in positions of power need to “try to tamp down rhetoric that may feed violence or anger or misunderstanding,” Obama said.

“I don’t think we can wait for all of the issues that exist between Israelis and Palestinians to be settled in order for us to try to tamp down the violence right now,” he said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who traveled to Europe on Friday, is expected to meet Netanyahu next week.

In another sign of Washington’s concern about the need to defuse the situation and end the violence, U.S. General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is slated to visit Israel next week.

Obama reiterated his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but noted past efforts by his administration to broker peace talks have foundered.

“I think it’s going to be up to the parties, and we stand ready to assist to see if they can restart a more constructive relationship,” he said.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

President Obama Condemns Violence in Israel

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close