Blinken described his conversation with Netanyahu as “very open”. “We want to create an environment in which, I hope, we can eventually create the conditions for Israelis and Palestinians alike to regain a sense of security,” the US Secretary of State said at a news conference.

Blinken said he also spoke to Netanyahu about maintaining the status quo on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, sacred to Jews and Muslims. At the beginning of January, the new right-wing extremist security minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, visited the Temple Mount, which several Arab states had condemned as an act of provocation.

According to Blinken, the talks with Netanyahu were also about Iran. “We agree that Iran should never be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons,” said the US chief diplomat. Negotiations on a new edition of the international nuclear deal with Iran have been stuck for months. The agreement, agreed in 2015, was intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program and ensure that the country would not build nuclear weapons.

In this context, Blinken also referred to the threat posed by the increasing rapprochement between Tehran and Moscow. Just as Iran has long supported terrorists who target Israelis and others, Tehran is now supplying drones “which Russia is using to kill innocent Ukrainian civilians,” the US Secretary of State said. “In return, Russia supplies Iran with sophisticated weapons.”

Blinken later also wanted to meet his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen and Israel’s President Isaac Herzog. Blinken plans to travel to Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday.

At the start of his trip to the Middle East, the US Secretary of State visited Egypt. Egypt is a key mediator in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

On Friday, an armed Palestinian killed seven people in front of a synagogue in East Jerusalem. Another attack followed on Saturday, in which a 13-year-old Palestinian in East Jerusalem seriously injured two Israelis. Earlier on Thursday, ten Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers in a raid on a refugee camp in the West Bank.

This Monday, Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank killed a Palestinian driver, officials from both sides said. According to the Israeli army, the car had previously hit a soldier. The 26-year-old died of “a gunshot wound to the head” inflicted by Israeli soldiers in Hebron, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said.

A spokeswoman for the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin said on Monday that the federal government was following the situation in Israel “with great concern”. “It’s really about doing everything we can to defuse this precarious situation, this tense situation,” she said. This requires a “readiness for dialogue” on both sides. The spokeswoman also announced that Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) was “in contact with partners in the region”.