NewsUSAIsraelis and Palestinians agree to de-escalate the violence with the mediation of Jordan

Israelis and Palestinians agree to de-escalate the violence with the mediation of Jordan

Jordan announced this Sunday that the Israelis and Palestinians have agreed to de-escalate and avoid further violence after an unusual high-level meeting in which representatives of the United States and Egypt have also participated. The actual implementation of this compromise, however, is uncertain, as both the hardline wing of the Israeli government and the Palestinian Hamas movement have been quick to reject its outcome. While the meeting was taking place, held in the Jordanian city of Aqaba, a Palestinian killed two Israelis in a shootout in a town near Nablus, in the north of the occupied West Bank, where Israeli settlers later assaulted several Palestinians and attacked some homes, according to a local human rights group.

In the statement released at the end of the meeting in the city on the Red Sea, Jordan stated that the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have committed to ending unilateral measures in the coming months. Along these lines, the former have accepted, according to the source, freezing discussions on new settlements for four months and, for six months, the legalization of incipient settlements, those inhabited by some settlers who build their houses illegally as an outpost for the arrival of other colonists, much more numerous. According to Jordan, Israel has also agreed to maintain the status quo at the holy sites of Jerusalem, including the Esplanade of the Mosques of the Old City, considered the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam, and which remains in symbolic Jordanian custody. The parties present at the meeting have also agreed to meet again in Egypt in March. The United States has considered the meeting a starting point, but has indicated that much work remains to be done in the coming weeks.

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Shortly after Jordan released the statement, however, the Israeli Finance Minister, the far-right Bezalel Smotrich, has stated on Twitter that he is unaware of what has been agreed in Aqaba and that, in any case, “there will be no freeze on the construction and development in the settlements, not even for a day.” Smotrich recalled that, since last week, decisions on the planning and construction of settlements fall under his prerogatives. Along the same lines, the country’s Minister of National Security, the ultra Itmar Ben Gvir, has assured in a message on the same social network that “what has been in Jordan (if there has been), will stay in Jordan.”

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While the meeting was taking place in Aqaba, a Palestinian assailant killed two Israeli brothers who were in their car in a West Bank town near the city of Nablus. Following news of the attack, Israeli settlers have attacked Palestinian residents in at least two towns in the same area, burning and vandalizing vehicles and throwing stones at some houses, local human rights group Yesh Din has documented.

These talks in Jordan have taken place after last Wednesday the Israeli Army killed 11 Palestinians, including four civilians, and wounded a hundred in a raid on the city of Nablus, in the deadliest raid in occupied West Bank territory. since 2005. Palestinian militias and the Israeli army also exchanged limited attacks during the early hours of Thursday. Since the beginning of this year, Israeli forces have killed more than 60 Palestinians, including civilians and some of them children, while Palestinian attackers have killed 10 Israelis.

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