John Kerry says ‘senseless’ Mideast violence must end

MADRID: US secretary of state John Kerry is calling on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take urgent action to end the current “senseless” violence taking place in Israel and the West Bank.

Ahead of meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Kerry said on Monday that he would be working with them to find steps that could help reduce tensions. In the meantime, he called on all sides to exercise restraint and refrain from actions that could escalate the situation. Kerry is expected to meet Netanyahu in Berlin later this week and with Abbas in Jordan over the weekend.

Kerry pushed back on suggestions that diplomacy should take a back seat to the immediate goal of restoring stability. He said the two go “hand-in-hand.”