Egypt hosts Israeli-Palestinian dialogue to achieve calm: Foreign ministry

Ahram Online , Sunday 19 Mar 2023

A meeting in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh between high-level political and security officials from Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Jordan and the United States on Sunday will seek to support de-escalation between the Palestine and Israel, said the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.

Father of Palestinian Yazan Khasib, reacts during his funeral, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Saturday, March 18, 2023. Israeli forces shot Khaseeb dead on March 17. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)


The five-way meeting aims at “backing dialogue between the two sides to work towards ending unilateral actions and escalation, breaking the cycle of violence and achieving calm,” the ministry added.

According to the statement, “this would pave the way for creating an appropriate atmosphere to resume the peace process.”

Secretary General of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Authority Hussein Al-Sheikh, who is due to lead the Palestinian delegation, tweeted that the meeting is meant to “defend the rights of our Palestinian people to freedom and independence, and to demand an end to this continuous Israeli aggression against us."

The upcoming meeting will serve as a follow-up meeting to the Aqaba summit in Jordan in February, according to the ministry.

The Jordan meeting, which was attended by high-ranking security officials from the five countries, led to an agreement on a temporary freeze on Israeli settlements, which Tel Aviv later revoked. 

The Aqaba statement ended with an agreement to establish a joint security committee to examine renewing Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation and another to establish a civilian committee to advance confidence-building economic measures. 

However, Israeli crackdowns continued in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Since the Aqaba summit, Israel has killed 18 Palestinians and wounded at least 400 others.

A total of 100 people have been killed this year amid Israeli violence in the Palestinian lands, with a vast majority of them being Palestinians, according to an AFP tally on Saturday.

On Sunday, according to AFP, Islamist group Hamas, which controls the blockaded Gaza Strip, said it "rejects the Sharm El-Sheikh conference and conferences that aim for calm," senior member Mussa Abu Marzouk said in a statement.

"Our choice... is to escalate the resistance in the face of the occupation", he added.

Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said in a joint statement reported by AFP that Israel "takes advantage of these security meetings to launch more aggression".

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine also demanded Palestinian representatives leave the talks.

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