The security situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories is extremely tense. Now representatives of Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to avoid any further escalation.
After the recent increase in deadly violence in the Middle East conflict, representatives of the Palestinians and Israel want to stabilize the situation through confidence-building measures. At a meeting in the Jordanian port city of Aqaba on Sunday, the representatives agreed on a “direct dialogue”, as reported by the Jordanian state agency Petra.
It was believed to be the first direct meeting of its kind in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in years. Government officials from the United States, Jordan and Egypt also took part in the talks. Another meeting has been scheduled for next month in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Israelis and Palestinians wanted to suspend “unilateral measures” for three to six months, without further details. Israel pledged not to hold discussions about building new settlements in the West Bank for four months and not to approve new settlement outposts for six months.
At the same time, an Israeli government official said Israel is sticking to its decision to legalize nine unauthorized settlements. However, Israel does not want to make any further decisions about settlement expansion in the coming months.
Tensions increase significantly
The meeting came about three weeks before the start of the Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan. In recent years, tensions between Israelis and Palestinians had increased during this period.
According to medics, two Israelis were killed in a suspected Palestinian attack in the West Bank on Sunday. According to the Israeli army, an attacker opened fire on the occupants of an Israeli vehicle near an intersection south of the city of Nablus. Soldiers were therefore looking for the perpetrator or perpetrators. Eleven Palestinians were killed and more than 100 injured in an Israeli military operation in Nablus on Thursday.
The security situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories is extremely tense. Ten Israelis and one Ukrainian have been killed in Palestinian attacks since the beginning of the year. In the same period, 62 Palestinians lost their lives – they were shot in confrontations with the Israeli army or after their own attacks.
Israel conquered the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. More than 600,000 Israeli settlers live there today. The Palestinians claim the territories for an independent state of Palestine with the Arab-influenced eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital.
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