Israel and PA Prepare for Egypt Summit on Regional Security
News » Arab-Israeli conflict
Israeli, Palestinian, American, Egyptian and Jordanian officials gather for a summit in Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday to bolster regional calm ahead of Ramadan starting next week.
National Security Adviser Tzachi Khanegbi will lead the Israeli team, as he did at the previous summit in Aqaba. Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar and Brigadier General Ghassan Alian, the military representative of the Palestinians, will also attend. According to the joint communique, Israel committed to suspend construction of new settlements at the talks in Aqaba, although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied the suspension of the construction of the Green Line.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority have agreed to ease tensions to prevent further violence ahead of the Muslim holy month. The parties agreed to “immediately end unilateral measures for a period of 3 to 6 months”.
A senior PA official later revealed that Jerusalem had also pledged to transfer millions of dollars in tax revenue it withheld from the financially struggling Palestinian Authority but didn't do it.
“They promised in Aqaba that they would transfer all the funds, but at the moment we have not received anything,” – said PA Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh and one of Mahmoud Abbas's closest advisers in early March.
Al-Sheikh lamented that even the commitments set out in writing in communiques are not taken seriously by the Israeli government. This, he said, jeopardizes the planned follow-up to Sharm el-Sheikh.
As Ramadan begins, security services warned the government of heightened risks of potential Palestinian terrorist attacks, according to a Friday report.
In a recent meeting with Defense Minister Yoav Gallan, the military said Israel's ongoing internal unrest, falling popularity The Palestinian Authority, the rise of nationalist Jewish attacks and the actions of National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir contribute to a highly unstable state in the PA. According to army leaders, Ben-Gvir's order to intensify the demolition of illegal buildings in East Jerusalem was made with complete disregard for the potential security implications and the recommendations of security chiefs.
Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians were quite high last year when the IDF carried out raids in the PA almost every night amid a series of Palestinian terrorist attacks. It has intensified further in recent weeks, with a cycle of deadly Israeli raids and Palestinian acts of revenge, as well as an upsurge in settler violence.
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