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Egypt hosts Israeli-Palestinian talks in Sharm el-Sheikh

Sharm el-Sheikh summit: Egypt hosts Israeli-Palestinian talks ahead of Ramadan
2 min read
19 March, 2023
The summit in Sharm el-Sheikh is aimed at discussing measures to de-escalate violence in the occupied Palestinian territories, ahead of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
Violence often spikes during the holy Muslim month as Israeli forces step up their aggression against Muslim worshippers at the holy site [Getty]

A Palestinian delegation is set to meet with Israeli officials on Sunday in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh with the participation of representatives from the US, Egypt and Jordan.

Sunday's meeting comes as a follow-up to last month's US-brokered summit in Aqaba, Jordan, and seeks to discuss measures to prevent a further escalation of violence in the occupied West Bank before the advent of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan next week.

Bilateral meetings between the participating countries are scheduled to be held on the sidelines, sources told The New Arab's Arabic language service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, based on a US push aimed at "saving what can be saved, and strengthening security coordination".

The move comes despite Israel's failure to abide by the outcomes of the Aqaba summit, which saw Tel Aviv pledge to de-escalate and halt violence in the occupied West Bank.

Violence often spikes during the holy Muslim month - particularly in Jerusalem - as Israeli settlers regularly storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, while Israeli forces step up their aggression against Muslim worshippers at the holy site.

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The Palestinian Authority (PA)  said on Saturday that it will be making demands for an end to Israel’s occupation and violence in the West Bank.

The Palestinian delegation will "defend the rights of our Palestinian people to freedom and independence", and "[request] an end to this continuous Israeli aggression against us and to stop all measures and policies that violate our blood, land, property and sanctities", said Hussein al-Sheikh, the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO)'s Executive Committee Secretary General.

The PA agreed to attend the summit in Egypt amid pressure from the US, following a meeting between al-Sheikh and the US Special Envoy for Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr in Ramallah earlier this year, according to the PLO's website.

Sunday's meeting will come after four Palestinians, including a teenager, were gunned down by Israeli forces on Thursday in Jenin, the latest in a spate of violence carried out by Israel in the occupied territories.

Since the beginning of the year, Israeli forces have conducted near-daily violent raids in the West Bank, notably the cities of Nablus and Jenin, killing at least 80 Palestinians -  including 16 children - in what has been described as some of the bloodiest months in recent Palestinian memory.