Palestinian, Israeli officials commit to ending unilateral measures at Sharm El-Sheikh summit

Ahram Online , AP , Sunday 19 Mar 2023

Palestinian Authority and Israeli government reaffirmed on Sunday in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh commitment to work on ending unilateral measures for a period of three to six months, a joint statement shared by Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said.

Israeli, Palestinians
Israeli settlers lift national flags during a protest by left-wing Israeli activists and Palestinians waving Palestinian flags and banners against Israeli occupation and settlement activity in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, on March 17, 2023. AFP


In a follow-up meeting to last month's Aqaba summit, high-level officials from the Palestinian Authority and Israeli government as well as Egypt, Jordan and the United States discussed steps to lower tensions ahead of the Holy Month of Ramadan as well as Passover and Easter in Palestine.

Following Sunday's summit in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt's Foreign Ministry said that the two sides reaffirmed a commitment to de-escalate and prevent further violence.

They also affirmed that they were committed to all previous agreements between them and to addressing all outstanding issues through direct dialogue.

These include pledges to stop unilateral actions, according to the foreign ministry.

Israel pledged to stop the discussion of new settlement construction for four months and to stop plans to legalise unauthorized settlement outposts for six months.

“The two sides reaffirmed, in this regard, their unwavering commitment to all previous agreements between them, in particular, the legal right of the Palestinian National Authority to carry out the security responsibilities in Area (A) of the West Bank, in accordance with existing agreements, and will work together towards realising this objective,” said the foreign ministry.

They also reiterated the commitment to upholding unchanged the historical status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem, both in word and in practice, and reaffirmed the importance of the Hashemite Custodianship.

“The two sides agreed to establish a mechanism to curb and counter violence, incitement and inflammatory states and actions,” according to the foreign ministry.

The sides would report on progress at a follow-up meeting in Egypt in April, the foreign ministry added.

The parties also agreed to establish a mechanism to take the necessary steps towards improving the economic conditions of the Palestinian people, per previous agreements, and to significantly enhance the fiscal situation of the Palestinian Authority, which will report to the April follow-up meeting in Sharm El-Sheikh.

There was no immediate comment from Israel or the Palestinians.

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