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Arab League meets Nov 29 over Israel-Palestinian tensions

AFP , Sunday 23 Nov 2014
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The Arab League will hold an extraordinary meeting next week to discuss the situation in the Palestinian territories in the presence of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, an official said Sunday.

The meeting on November 29 comes as annexed Arab east Jerusalem is roiled by months of unrest, which has spread across the occupied West Bank and to Arab communities inside Israel.

Last week, two Palestinians armed with a gun and axes burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead.

Arab foreign ministers meeting Saturday will discuss the latest unrest as well as plans by the Palestinians to seek "membership in UN agencies", Arab League deputy chief Ahmed Ben Helli told reporters.

The Palestinians have said they will submit a draft resolution to the UN Security Council later this month, calling for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories within two years.

The text, which the Palestinians have been discussing for weeks, is expected to be vetoed by permanent member the United States.

The Palestinians have said they will seek membership of the International Criminal Court, where they could sue Israeli officials over alleged war crimes, if the US wields its veto power.

Ben Helli said the Arab foreign ministers will also discuss Israeli activities in Jerusalem, which he said is "pushing the region to (an) explosion" of violence and compromising peace efforts.

Tensions have been rife in Jerusalem, where right-wing Jews are pressing for the right to pray at Al-Aqsa mosque compound, holy to both Muslims and Jews.

These tensions have been exacerbated after Israel announced last week new settlement projects in east Jerusalem.

Meanwhile on Sunday, the Mideast Quartet envoy, Tony Blair, met Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri to discuss the latest developments.

Shoukri "briefed Blair on Egyptian efforts to contain the situation in east Jerusalem and prevent it... from falling into a vicious circle of violence," a foreign ministry statement said.

*The story was edited by Ahram Online. 

 

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