Secretary of State John Kerry will soon travel to the Middle East to help calm the situation between Israelis and Palestinians
Kerry's announcement Tuesday comes as violence has ramped up between Israelis and Palestinians
Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday night he will soon travel to the Middle East to help calm the situation between Israelis and Palestinians.
Kerry announced the trip during an event at Harvard University. No further details on his travel were immediately provided by the State Department.
“I will go there soon, at some point appropriately, and try to work to reengage and see if we can’t move that away from this precipice,” Kerry told the audience at the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
Kerry tenaciously pursued a peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians in his first years as secretary of state but mostly stepped away from the issue after it became clear the two sides were nowhere close to bridging their differences on the key sticking points.
When violence flared in Gaza last summer, Kerry traveled to the region to help promote an Egyptian-led cease-fire plan to quell the fighting.
Kerry’s announcement Tuesday comes as violence has ramped up between Israelis and Palestinians, with clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces taking place in the West Bank. The official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, reported that “live ammunition” wounded at least five Palestinians at the Beit Hanoun crossing point Tuesday, after 18 were reportedly shot and injured the previous night at the Huwwara military checkpoint.
And these are hardly the only two places where skirmishes have occurred. The Palestinian Red Crescent reported Tuesday that at least 155 people needed medical care – most for tear gas inhalation, though 26 were wounded by rubber bullets, six by live bullets and five reportedly beaten – in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Thirty-seven more were injured in Gaza. There were no deaths reported in either of those incidents.
Also in Jerusalem, an ultra-Orthodox Jew was killed and eight were injured when an Arab man drove into a bus stop, ran over three people, then got out of his car and began stabbing people, according to Israeli police.
In the Armon Hanatziv area of Jerusalem, one person with a gun and another with a knife boarded a bus and launched an attack. Israeli police managed to kill one attacker and wound the other, who was taken to a hospital – but not before two Israeli passengers had died. At least 10 people were also injured.
In another Israeli city, Ra’anana, Palestinians stabbed Israelis in two separate incidents that left at least five people injured.
CNN’s Greg Botelho, Ed Payne, Michael Schwartz, Amir Tal, Ben Wedeman, Salma Abdelazizi, Ashley Fantz, Michael Martinez and Abeer Salman contributed to this report.