Kerry stresses ending incitement in call with Abbas
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Kerry stresses ending incitement in call with Abbas

While praising PA leader’s ‘commitment to nonviolence,’ secretary calls for ending ‘inflammatory rhetoric’

US Secretary of State John Kerry at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, December 2, 2015. (AFP Photo/John Thys)
US Secretary of State John Kerry at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, December 2, 2015. (AFP Photo/John Thys)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — US Secretary of State John Kerry in a call with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas stressed the need to end incitement.

“They discussed concerns about the ‎situation on the ground, including the ongoing violence,” a State Department spokeswoman told JTA, describing the conversation this weekend. “The secretary stressed the importance of stopping incitement and inflammatory rhetoric.”

Israeli leaders have faulted what they say are inflammatory statements by Palestinian leaders and in Palestinian media for a four-month spate of stabbings, vehicle attacks and shootings.

Abbas and other Palestinian officials say they are urging restraint and have accused Israel of overreacting.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks to Israeli journalists in the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 21, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks to Israeli journalists in the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 21, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Kerry praised Abbas for a Jan. 19 speech marking the Armenian Orthodox Christmas, in which the Palestinian leader condemned “spilling the blood of any human being, regardless of the gender, race or religion.”

Kerry “expressed appreciation for President Abbas’s comments in Bethlehem in which he reiterated his commitment to nonviolence,” the spokeswoman said.

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