John Kerry. Credit: State Department.

John Kerry. Credit: State Department.

( U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held separate meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday in Jordan, where the leaders discussed how to reduce the tension surrounding the Temple Mount holy site in Jerusalem.

In a statement following his meetings, Kerry said Netanyahu “strongly reaffirmed his commitment to uphold the status quo” of barring Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. Abbas, according to Kerry, stated his commitment to “non-violence and restoring calm” in Jerusalem and the West Bank, where Palestinian terrorism has been on the upswing.

“There is an urgent need to address these greatest tensions, and an imperative need to uphold the status quo at the Temple Mount,” Kerry said.

An Israeli official told the Times of Israel that Netanyahu spoke to Kerry about the need for Abbas to end violence-provoking incitement by PA officials. Just hours before the Jordan meetings began, Arab rioters threw stones and other objects at Israeli police in eastern Jerusalem.

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