Kerry to Meet Abbas in Jordan - But Not Netanyahu

PA chief Mahmoud Abbas to meet US Secretary of State on Thursday in Jordanian capital to discuss ongoing violence.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

John Kerry and Mahmoud Abbas (file)
John Kerry and Mahmoud Abbas (file)
Flash 90

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is to meet Washington's top diplomat to discuss the upsurge in violence in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, his spokesman told AFP on Wednesday.  

The meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry will take place in the Jordanian capital at 1:00 pm (1100 GMT) on Thursday, Nabil Abu Rudeina said.

Kerry was due to arrive in Jordan later on Wednesday and have a private dinner King Abdullah II, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, at which the two men will discuss the simmering tensions in Jerusalem and other regional issues.

She confirmed Kerry was to also meet with Abbas, saying it was "the most likely option" that their talks would be on Thursday.

So far no meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been scheduled although Kerry speaks with him "probably almost every day and he'll continue to do that."

Kerry's arrival comes as Israel continues to combat a wave of violence which has gripped Jerusalem for the past four months and has spread to Judea and Samaria, as well as to some Arab towns in northern Israel.

Much of the tension has been focused on the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site, which has seen numerous clashes instigated by Islamist factions, as Jewish groups continue to campaign for the right to pray there.

"The Palestinian position will be made crystal clear: the Israeli violations are a red line and cannot be tolerated - especially with the tension and Israeli escalation in Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem," Abu Rudeina said.

Clashes at the holy site have drawn sharp criticism from both the Palestinians and Jordan, whose government-run Waqf Islamic trust has custodial rights at the site. Israel has repeatedly pledged it has no plans to alter the decades-old "status quo".

Abbas will also tell Kerry that the PA will not be deterred from plans to present a draft resolution to the UN Security Council this month, seeking to set an end date for "Israeli occupation," he said.

"President Abbas will also affirm... that the Palestinian side is going to the Security Council this month to call for an end date for Israeli occupation because the situation has become explosive and it cannot wait," he said.

Kerry had also been scheduled to go to the United Arab Emirates, but that visit has been canceled, Psaki said without elaborating.