U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog in London on Friday, and expressed grave concern over the escalating violence in Jerusalem and on Temple Mount.
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Herzog told Kerry that the violence was triggered by incitement on the part of Islamic figures who have been encouraging youths to clash with Israeli security forces.
In recent days Kerry has received phone calls from several Arab foreign ministers demanding that the U.S. intervene and press Israel vis-à-vis the developments on Temple Mount.
On Thursday, Saudi King Salman Abdul Aziz spoke by phone with President Barack Obama, urging him to interfere in “the Israeli attacks.”
Kerry spoke on the phone with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to discuss the unrest.
Netanyahu and Kerry met with King Abdullah II of Jordan in Amman last November, reaching understandings that deescalated the unrest on Temple Mount. The summit turned the U.S. into an unofficial arbiter in the discord between Israel and Jordan, with each side turning to the U.S. when the other appeared to violate the agreement.
During their two-hour meeting on Friday, Kerry and Herzog also discussed the nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers. Herzog asserted that despite Netanyahu's criticism of the deal, the prime minister should have started talks with the U.S. a long time ago over new security arrangements for the day after the Iran agreement takes effect. Herzog told Kerry that a regional alliance needs to be established that will include Israel and the Sunni states and will take action against Iranian aggression.
After meeting Herzog, Kerry met with United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed.