Riyad Mansour, Palestine’s U.N. ambassador, on Friday called on the body’s Security Council to immediately provide international protection to “defenseless Palestinian people.”
Mansour asked the council to implement a resolution adopted after a Jewish settler killed 29 Muslim worshippers at a holy site in Hebron in 1994. It called on Israel "to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians throughout the occupied territory," including by a "temporary international or foreign presence."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he would meet with Netanyahu in Germany next week to discuss ways to end the crisis, State Department officials said Friday. He will then travel to the Middle East to meet separately with Palestinian leadership.
In an interview with National Public Radio on Friday, Kerry condemned stabbing attacks by Palestinians on Israelis.
"No amount of frustration is appropriate to license any violence anywhere at any time. No violence should occur. And the Palestinians need to understand," Kerry said.
Israeli officials had condemned Kerry for linking the current round of violence to Israel's settlement activity earlier this week at a speech at Harvard University.
In his remarks, Kerry said: "Unless we get going, a two-state solution could conceivably be stolen from everybody. And there's been a massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years, and now you have this violence because there's a frustration that is growing."
On Friday, Obama said the secretary's words were mischaracterized in the media, and that there was no direct link between increased settlement building and protests, clashes and stabbing attacks.
"I don't think that's what Secretary Kerry said," Obama said according to the Jerusalem Post. What Kerry meant is that the current atmosphere among Israelis and Palestinians "creates the potential for more misunderstanding and triggers, and that's something that has been true now for decades."
"There's not a direct causation here," Obama said.
However, Palestinian protesters, activists and officials have stated otherwise.
"These protests and clashes are occurring because the Palestinian people have lost all hope in their leaders, in humanity even," Fadi Salah Al Shaik Yousef, a protester in Gaza told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.
“We’ve found that peaceful solutions are not going to end the occupation — so we have to keep resisting.”
Al Jazeera and wire services