Jordan to host Palestinian-Israeli talks following Israeli violence in West Bank

Jordan to host Palestinian-Israeli talks following Israeli violence in West Bank
Jordan said it will host Palestinians and Israelis on Sunday to discuss the recent escalation in violence which saw 11 Palestinians killed in Nablus by Israeli forces.
2 min read
25 February, 2023
More than 60 Palestinians have been killed since the start of this year [Getty/archive]

Jordan will on Sunday host a "political-security" meeting between Israel and the Palestinians to try to calm tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories after deadly violence, a Jordanian government official said.

The meeting to be held in the Red Sea resort of Aqaba will also be attended by United States and Egyptian representatives.

It aims at "building trust" between Israel and the Palestinians, the official told AFP on Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"The political-security meeting is part of stepped up ongoing efforts by Jordan in coordination with the Palestinian Authority and other parties to end unilateral measures (by Israel) and a security breakdown that could fuel more violence," the Jordanian government official said.

The talks aim to reach "security and economic measures to ease the hardships of the Palestinian people," the official added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who took office again in December and is leading Israel's most far-right government ever, travelled in January to Amman for a rare meeting with King Abdullah II. The monarch stressed "the need to maintain calm and cease all acts of violence", the royal palace said at the time.

Abdullah also reaffirmed Jordan's position in support of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians to end the decades-old conflict.

Jordan, like Egypt, is bound by a peace treaty with Israel. The UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan also normalised ties with Israel in 2020.

The talks will come after 11 Palestinians were killed and more than 80 wounded on Wednesday when Israeli troops raided the city of Nablus in the West Bank, which Israel has occupied along with East Jerusalem since the 1967 Six-Day War.

It was the deadliest Israeli attack on a Palestinian city since the second Palestinian intifada - or uprising - ended in 2005, the year the United Nations started tracking casualties.

Israel has launched near-daily raids in the West Bank since March 2022. Since the start of this year, 62 Palestinians, including children, have been killed by Israeli forces.

Nine Israelis and one Ukrainian civilian have also been killed over the same period, according to an AFP tally based on official sources from both sides.