Washington, Dec 10 (IANS) US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that steps should be taken to prevent further tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
Welcoming the visiting Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to the White House, Obama said that he will discuss with Rivlin to “tamp down tensions between Israelis and Palestinians”.
“Although obviously this is a time at which the prospects of serious peace may seem distant, it’s important that we continue to try,” Obama said, Xinhua reported.
Since the beginning of October, at least 19 Israelis and 110 Palestinians have been killed in stabbing, shooting and car rammings across Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank. One US national was also killed in attacks.
“I’ve been very clear in condemning the violence that is recurring inside of Israel, the need for leaders like (Palestinian) president (Mahmud) Abbas to unequivocally condemn the violence that has been taking place, the need to end incitement,” Obama said.
He also stressed the need for Israelis and Palestinians to find mechanisms in which to dialogue.
Rivlin thanked Obama for the financial, diplomatic and military help the US has offered to his country in the last six years.
“We have no war with Islam,” Rivlin said. “We have war against those who are using ideas in order to create extremism and threats toward the whole innocent people of the world.”
During the two leaders meeting, “they discussed the ongoing bilateral talks regarding a new 10-year Memorandum of Understanding on security assistance to Israel, which resumed last week”, a White House press release said.
Obama and Rivlin also discussed regional challenges, including the conflict in Syria and the counter-IS campaign.