Kerry to visit Israel in Middle East trip: US official

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on October 2, 2015 in New York, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (AFP Photo/Kena Betancur)
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Washington (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit the Middle East from Sunday to Tuesday, in a trip that will take him to Israel for the first time since the summer of 2014.

Kerry will travel to Abu Dhabi, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Ramallah, State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement Saturday, with Israeli-Palestinian violence, Syria and the Islamic State group all on the agenda.

"In Abu Dhabi, Secretary Kerry will meet with senior government officials to discuss a range of bilateral and regional political and security issues, with a focus on Syria," Kirby said.

"While in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Ramallah, Secretary Kerry will discuss bilateral and regional security issues, including Syria and Daesh (IS), and continue discussions on stopping the violence in Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank, and improving conditions on the ground."

Violence between Israelis and Palestinians since the start of October has killed at least 86 people on the Palestinian side including one Arab Israeli, 15 Israelis, an American and an Eritrean.

Many of the Palestinians killed have been alleged attackers, while others were shot dead during clashes with Israeli forces.

Israeli security officials quietly acknowledge they are preparing for months of attacks.

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