US Secretary of State John Kerry has denounced the recent spate of knife attacks and car-rammings committed against Israelis as “acts of terrorism.”
Kerry met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah for what he described as “a long and very constructive and serious conversation.”
“I am here at the request of President Obama to see what we can do to try to help contribute to calm and to restore people’s confidence in the ability of a two-state solution to still be viable, to be achieved at some point,” he said.
Earlier, Kerry met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss ways to restore calm in the region.
US-backed talks on a Palestinian state in Israeli-occupied territory ground to a halt in early 2014.
Subsequent outbreaks of violence have killed thousands.
According to a United Nations report, in 2014, Israel killed more Palestinians than in any other year since the beginning of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967.
Israel has also suffered casualties.
Since October 1 this year 19 Israelis and an American have been killed in attacks by Palestinians, chiefly knifings and car-rammings. In the same period, 86 Palestinians have been killed, either while carrying out the attacks or in clashes with Israeli police.
The recent bloodshed has arisen from Palestinians’ fears that Israeli authorities will change the status quo at the al-Aqsa compound. The site is of religious significance to both Muslims and Jews. Israel denies any intention of doing so.