Kerry and Abbas discuss Jerusalem unrest

Meeting in Jordanian capital follows Israeli move to build 200 new settler homes in annexed East Jerusalem.

    Kerry and Abbas discuss Jerusalem unrest
    Thursday's meeting came after approved plans for 200 more settler homes in annexed East Jerusalem [Getty]

    John Kerry, US secretary of state, has met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan for talks aimed at calming a wave of violence gripping Israel and the occupied territories.

    The meeting in Amman came on Thursday, just hours after fresh clashes broke out in East Jerusalem where Israeli police fired tear gas, percussion bombs and rubber bullets to disperse Palestinian demonstrators.

    Months-long unrest in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem has in recent days spread to the occupied West Bank and Arab communities across Israel, raising fears of a new Palestinian uprising.

    The meeting between Abbas and Kerry, who arrived in Jordan late on Wednesday, came a day after Israel approved plans for another 200 settler homes in East Jerusalem, a move sharply criticised by the US.

    Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territories are considered illegal under international law.

    Kerry and Abbas embraced and had a brief whispered exchange as they met at the Palestinian leader's hillside home in Amman.

    Much of the unrest in Jerusalem has been prompted by Israeli moves to step up settlement activity in the city's eastern sector and by religious tensions at al-Aqsa compound, a site holy to both Muslims and Jews.

    Earlier, a tense confrontation erupted in the city's Issawiya neighbourhood as about 100 residents, including schoolchildren, tried to block a main road after police closed off several neighbourhood entrances with concrete blocks.

    A local activist denounced the blocks as "collective punishment" against Palestinians in Jerusalem.

    The Palestinians have also been angered by a far-right Jewish campaign for prayer rights at al-Aqsa compound, although Israel insists it has no plans to change the decades-old status quo.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Will you push the boundaries or play it safe?

    Will you push the boundaries or play it safe?

    Curate an art exhibition and survive Thailand's censorship crackdown in this interactive game.