A Palestinian gunman killed two individuals when he opened fireplace at an Israeli automotive in the occupied West Financial institution on Sunday, casting a shadow on a high-level assembly between Palestinian and Israeli delegations meant to scale back surging violence forward of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Israeli officials confirmed the deaths and politicians issued condemnations and condolences.
The area has seen skyrocketing tensions between Palestinians and the Israeli army over the previous yr. The army mentioned it was looking for the attacker, who opened fireplace on a automotive on the West Financial institution’s major freeway and fled.
West Financial institution settler leaders known as on Israel to withdraw its delegation from the talks and crack down on the Palestinians, whereas Hamas, the Islamic militant group that guidelines the Gaza Strip, mentioned no summit would cease Palestinians from resisting.
Israel mentioned the prime minister’s nationwide safety adviser as effectively as the chief of the Shin Wager home safety company have been to attend the talks in neighboring Jordan. The pinnacle of the Palestinian intelligence companies as effectively as advisers to President Mahmoud Abbas have been anticipated to be a part of.
The presence of prime officials on the assembly, as effectively as delegations from Egypt, Jordan and the US, underscored the severity of the disaster. It was additionally a uncommon high-level assembly between the edges, coming throughout a time of rising tensions and after the Palestinians reduce safety coordination with Israel over the violence.
Abbas’ workplace mentioned the Palestinians would “stress the necessity to cease all Israeli unilateral actions.” An Israeli official mentioned the assembly was meant to ease tensions forward of Ramadan and got here after an American request.
The assembly’s Palestinian attendees have been confirmed by a Palestinian official. A Jordanian official additionally mentioned the assembly was meant to cease “Israeli unilateral actions,” construct confidence and lead to extra complete contacts between the edges. He mentioned the assembly will happen in the Pink Sea resort city of Aqaba, Jordan.
All three officials spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t licensed to discuss the assembly with the media.
Palestinians who oppose any official engagement with Israel mentioned they might protest the assembly, whereas Hamas criticized the assembly. It known as Sunday’s capturing “a pure response” to Israeli incursions into Palestinian areas of the West Financial institution and ensuing deaths.
“The resistance in the West Financial institution will stay current and rising, and no plan or summit might be in a position to cease it,” mentioned spokesman Hazem Qassem.
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It’s not clear what the talks would possibly obtain. Israel has pledged to proceed combating militants in the West Financial institution the place the Palestinian Authority typically has little management. Israel is also led by a far-right authorities with members that oppose concessions to the Palestinians and favor settlement development on occupied lands sought by the Palestinians for a future state.
Final week, Israeli officials accepted the constructing of over 7,000 new settlement properties in the occupied West Financial institution, in accordance to activist teams that attended the planning assembly.
Violence between Israelis and Palestinians has surged since Israel stepped up raids throughout the West Financial institution following a spate of Palestinian assaults final spring. The bloodshed has spiked this yr, with greater than 60 Palestinians killed in the West Financial institution and east Jerusalem, in accordance to a tally by The Related Press. Palestinian assaults towards Israelis have killed 13 individuals in 2023.
Israel says the raids are meant to dismantle militant networks and thwart future assaults. The Palestinians say Israel is additional entrenching its 55-year open-ended occupation of lands they need for a future state, as effectively as undermine their very own safety forces.