US President Barack Obama delivers his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that it was important to provide both the Israeli and Palestinian sides with hope for a resolution to violence.
Obama said Jordan has played a “critical” part in “reducing some of the immediate tensions around the Temple Mount” and called the King a “voice of reason … and tolerance. We’re lucky to have a friend like Jordan.”
Also on Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that increased Israeli settlement building is not helping to ease tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
"I don't think that the situation is helped by additional settlement construction and building," Kerry told a House of Representatives Appropriations subcommittee at a hearing on the State Department's annual budget request.
"I think that I know we need to see measures taken on both sides to indicate a readiness and willingness to try to proceed forward and reduce the violence," Kerry said, when asked about heightened violence.
On Wednesday afternoon, Capt. (Res.) Eliav Gelman, 30, was killed by friendly fire in the midst of a stabbing attack
at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank.
Over the past five months, 33 Israelis have been murdered and 311 wounded in the wave of Palestinian violence. Twenty-nine of those sustained serious injuries, eight were moderately to seriously wounded, and 214 lightly injured.