John Kerry condemns terror attacks against Israelis in speech at Indiana University

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is condemning terrorist attacks against Israelis, saying there is no justification for violence.

Kerry, who plans to visit the Mideast next week, says the U.S. backs Israel’s right to defend itself.

The message, delivered Thursday at Indiana University, was stronger in its support for the Jewish state than previous U.S. statements.

On Wednesday, Kerry’s spokesman, John Kirby, said Israel hadn’t abided by long-standing rules for Jerusalem’s religious sites, which he said has led to a lot of the violence.

Kirby later said he didn’t mean to suggest the status quo for the city’s Temple Mount, or Haram al-Sharif, had been broken.

Kerry stressed the need to quickly restore calm.

He urged all sides to prevent inflammatory rhetoric, accusations and actions that could lead to violence.

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