After holding talks in the Jordanian city of Aqaba, officials from Israel and Palestine have committed to implementing measures to reduce the escalating violence in the region. In a joint statement released after the meeting, both sides declared their intention to cooperate closely to prevent additional violence outbreaks. The statement also emphasized the need for a firm commitment to de-escalation on the ground, with both sides recognizing the situation’s urgency.
The discussions, which took place in the Red Sea resort of Aqaba on Sunday, were an attempt to ease tensions rising between Israel and Palestine in recent months. The Jordanian government initiated the talks, actively seeking ways to promote peace & stability in the region. Moreover, the agreement reached by the two sides is a positive development and a potential step toward a lasting peace agreement.
Following a meeting in Jordan, attended by officials from Egypt, the US, Israel, & the Palestinian Authority, joint commitments have been made to end the recent escalation of violence. Both parties have agreed to take immediate steps to address the situation.#Israel #Palestine pic.twitter.com/0bxnyILA1l
— News Live (@NewsLiveFree) February 27, 2023
As tensions continue to simmer in the region, any steps toward de-escalation and a peaceful resolution of the conflict should be encouraged. It remains to be seen how practical these measures will be in curbing the violence that has plagued the region for decades. However, both sides are willing to work together toward a common positive sign.
Joint Statement Made in Response to Rising Tensions Ahead of Ramadan
In a statement released after “through and frank discussions,” Israeli officials have committed to ceasing discussions about establishing new settlement units for four months and halting the approval of any new settlements for six months. Furthermore, the statement further emphasized the need for both sides to prioritize de-escalation and prevent further violence.
The recent statement by the Palestinian and Israeli officials was issued after a meeting attended by representatives from the United States, Jordan, and Egypt. The meeting was held amid growing concerns about a likely escalation of violence leading up to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is set to begin in late March.
During the meeting, both sides were committed to working together to prevent unilateral measures. The statement outlined a joint readiness to take immediate action to reduce tensions for three to six months, signaling a potential path toward a more lasting peace accord in the future.
According to the joint statement, the United States, Egypt, and the host nation Jordan have hailed the recent understandings reached between Israel and Palestine as a significant step forward in their efforts to re-establish and deepen relations between the two sides. The statement emphasized the importance of continuing this momentum and working towards a lasting peace agreement.
As a further indication of their commitment to this process, both sides have agreed to meet again in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, next month. This meeting is expected to build on the progress made during the recent talks and focus on implementing the measures agreed upon in the joint statement.
Hamas Dismisses West Bank-based Palestinian Authority Meeting with Israeli Officials
Hamas, the governing body of the Gaza Strip, has criticized the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority for participating in a meeting with Israeli officials. The group stated that the meeting was “worthless” and would not impact the current situation. The ruling Fatah movement, led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, had previously defended the meeting. However, Hamas’ rejection of the talks highlights the ongoing divisions between the two main Palestinian factions.
The Gaza Strip, under Hamas control, and the West Bank, where the Palestinian Authority holds sway, have been politically divided since 2007. The recent meeting was part of efforts to strengthen ties between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, strained due to the ongoing conflict and Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
Israel’s Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, who oversees Israeli settlements in the West Bank, has stated that he will not abide by any agreement to freeze settlement construction. His comments came after a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian officials in Jordan to improve relations between the two sides. Smotrich took to Twitter to express his opposition to any halt in the building and developing settlements under his authority, claiming that he did not know about the discussions held in Jordan.
The settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories is considered illegal under international law, and its expansion is a contentious issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Israeli government has faced criticism from the international community, including the United Nations, for its continuous expansion of settlements in the West Bank. Smotrich’s rejection of any freeze on settlement construction highlights the ongoing divisions and obstacles to achieving a peaceful resolution.
Palestinian Discontent and Israeli Actions Following Jordan Meeting
Sara Khairat, reporting from West Jerusalem for Al Jazeera, has commented on the recent meeting between Israeli and Palestinian officials in Jordan, stating that while the Palestinian Authority participated, many Palestinians were unhappy with the talks. She noted that such discussions have historically not led to significant progress in resolving the conflict, leading to frustration among Palestinians. Additionally, she highlighted the recent actions of the new right-wing Israeli government, which has seen an increase in demolitions and raids in occupied territories, including the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Overall, Khairat’s reporting emphasizes the challenges faced in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which remains one of the region’s most protracted and complex issues. Following the recent meeting between Israeli and Palestinian officials in Jordan, it was agreed to de-escalate tensions and bolster security at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Such actions are viewed as further hindrances to peace efforts and will likely increase tensions between the two sides.
However, according to Al Jazeera’s Sara Khairat, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s subsequent tweet stating that settlements would not be frozen contradicts the earlier statement. The construction of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territories is one of the most contentious issues in the conflict, with Palestinians viewing it as a significant obstacle to achieving lasting peace.
Netanyahu’s tweet will likely further undermine efforts to reduce tensions and improve relations between the two sides. The apparent contradiction in the statements released after the meeting highlights the ongoing challenges in resolving the conflict and the deep-seated differences between the parties involved.