U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, speaks during a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, Jordan, Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Nicholas Kamm, Pool)
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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan Thursday for talks aimed at calming a wave of violence gripping Israel and the occupied territories.The meeting between Abbas and Kerry, who arrived in Jordan late Wednesday, came a day after Israel approved plans for another 200 settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem, a move sharply criticized by Washington.Kerry and a somber-looking Abbas embraced and had a brief whispered exchange as they met at the Palestinian leader's hillside home in Amman where the U.S. and Palestinian flags hung in front of a large night-time photo of Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque. Much of the unrest in Jerusalem has been fueled by Israeli moves to step up settlement activity in the city's eastern sector and by religious tensions at the Al-Aqsa compound, a site holy to both Muslims and Jews. Abbas's spokesman said the Palestinian leader was expected to tell Kerry of his growing concerns over Israel's actions, particularly in Jerusalem.
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