Israeli, Palestinian officials meet in Egypt
With the support of the United States and Jordan, the day-long meeting follows talks in Jordan last month.
Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are meeting for talks in Egypt amid criticism and boycott calls by Palestinian political parties.
The one-day meeting, which will also be attended by officials from Egypt, the United States and Jordan, began Sunday in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Talk ahead ramadanin a diplomatic effort to maintain “calm” during the Muslim holy month when disputes between Israeli forces and Palestinians in occupied Palestinian territory often escalate, are due to begin Thursday.
The situation on the ground has been tense for more than a year, with frequent raids and near-daily killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces, but has surged under the new far-right Israeli government that took office late last year. .
A statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the purpose of the talks was to “support dialogue between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, stop unilateral actions and escalations, break the existing cycle of violence and achieve peace.” be.
This could “facilitate a favorable environment for resuming the peace process,” the statement added.
On Saturday, PA’s top official, Hussein Al-Sheikh, said the Palestinian delegation would join to “defend the right to freedom and independence of the Palestinian people.”[request] Put an end to this ongoing Israeli attack on us and suspend all measures and policies that violate our blood, land, property and sanctions.
According to Israeli media, National Security Adviser Tzatchi Hanegbi is leading the Israeli delegation along with Intelligence Service (Shin Bet) Director Ronen Bar and Army Commander Ghassan Arian.
All major Palestinian parties opposed the negotiations, except Fatah, which runs the PA, called for a boycottHamas, the armed group that governs the besieged Gaza Strip, said it would “refuse to meet in Sharm al-Sheikh”.
Spokesperson Mousa Abu Marzouq said: statement announced on Friday, “European and American authorities [Israeli] However, it will not take any steps to pressure the Israeli organization to stop its crimes.”
The political parties of the Islamic Jihad of Palestine (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said in a joint statement that the PA’s insistence on joining the Sharm al-Sheikh summit “constitutes a coup against the will of the people.”
They said Israel was “using these summits and security conferences to launch more attacks against our people.”
Sunday’s meeting follows a US-brokered summit in Jordan last month that PA and Israeli officials attended, the first in several years. The conference was also met with widespread opposition and failed to limit the escalating repressive measures of Israel’s occupation of Palestinians.
The closing statement of the Aqaba summit in Jordan claimed that Israel had agreed to stop announcing new illegal settlements for months, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said just hours after the meeting ended. denied any such promise made.
“Contrary to reports and tweets about the meeting in Jordan, there is no change in Israeli policy,” Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi said at the time.
Israel built hundreds of illegal settlements and outposts in the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, home to about 700,000 Israeli settlers, which Israel militarily occupied in 1967. These territories are hindering the possibility of an independent Palestinian state.
The Israeli army and settlers have killed 89 Palestinians this year, including 18 children and one woman, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.