US Secretary of State John Kerry said talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday (22 October) gave him a "cautious measure of optimism" that tensions between Israelis and Palestinians could be defused.

"I would characterise that conversation as one that gave me a cautious measure of optimism that there may be ... a way to defuse the situation and begin to find a way forward," Kerry said in Berlin.

"If parties want to try, and I believe they do, want to move to a de-escalation, there are a set of choices that are available," he added at a joint news conference with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

In a wave of violence dubbed the knife intifada nine Israelis have been killed and dozens wounded in Palestinian stabbings, shootings and vehicle attacks since the start of October, while 48 Palestinians, including 24 attackers, among them children, have been killed by Israeli security forces in response.