During a trip to Spain, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Israel and Palestinian leaders need to clarify the status around Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said it was important that Israeli and Palestinian leaders clarify the status around Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound and agree on steps to calm unrest during talks this week. Kerry made the remarks during a news conference with Spain's foreign minister during a trip to Madrid. Daily attacks in Israel have sparked a sense of panic in violence triggered in part by Palestinians' anger over what they see as increased Jewish encroachment on the al-Aqsa mosque, which is Islam's holiest site outside Saudi Arabia and also revered by Jews as the location of two destroyed biblical temples. Kerry said Israel had a right to protect itself against random acts of violence, and in his conversations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the Israeli leader said he was committed to maintaining the status quo at the holy site. Kerry will meet with Netanyahu in Germany and separately with President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah at the end of the week to discuss ways to end the violence. He also said he will hold a meeting this week in Europe with counterparts from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Russia to explore options for a political transition in Syria. Kerry will travel back to Washington later on Monday for talks at the White House before returning to Europe.