March 28, 2023

Barely hours after Jordan hosted a gathering between Israel and the Palestinian Authority within the Purple Sea metropolis of Aqaba, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated the constructing of Israeli settlements within the occupied West Financial institution will proceed to go forward.

Sunday’s assembly, which was additionally attended by Egypt and the US, was known as as a way to talk about steps to de-escalate tensions amid surging violence within the occupied Palestinian territories.

The Jordanian overseas ministry revealed the closing assertion of the Aqaba summit, saying: “The Authorities of Israel and the Palestinian Nationwide Authority confirmed their joint readiness and dedication to work instantly to finish unilateral measures for a interval of 3-6 months.”

“This contains an Israeli dedication to cease dialogue of any new settlement models for 4 months and to cease authorization of any outposts for six months,” it added.

The individuals agreed to satisfy once more in Egypt’s resort metropolis of Sharm el-Sheikh subsequent month for additional talks.

Nonetheless, after the assertion was introduced, Netanyahu tweeted that there “won’t be any freeze” as regards to settlement building.

“The constructing and authorization in Judea and Samaria will proceed based on the unique planning and constructing schedule, with no change,” he stated, utilizing the biblical time period for the West Financial institution.

Below worldwide legislation, settlements inbuilt occupied territories are thought of unlawful.

Quite a few high ministers in Israel additionally confirmed that the Israeli authorities won’t quickly halt the announcement of latest unlawful settlement models.

In a statements on Sunday evening, Israeli Nationwide Safety Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi, who headed the Israeli delegation on the summit, stated that Israel will authorize 9 settlement outposts within the coming months and can approve 9,500 settlement models within the occupied West Financial institution.

“Opposite to stories and tweets in regards to the assembly in Jordan, there isn’t any change in Israeli coverage,” Hanegbi stated.

“There isn’t a settlement building freeze or change in the established order on the Temple Mount, neither is there any restriction on IDF exercise,” he continued, referring to the Israeli military.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who additionally holds a place within the protection ministry, stated on Twitter that he had “no clue what they talked or did not speak about in Jordan”.

“The one factor I do know: there won’t be a freeze on building and improvement in settlements, not even for in the future,” stated Smotrich, who himself lives in a settlement within the occupied West Financial institution and has beforehand known as for the expulsion of Palestinian residents of Israel.

Nationwide Safety Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who additionally lives in an unlawful settlement within the occupied West Financial institution and has publicly known as for violence towards Palestinians, stated on Twitter: “What occurred in Jordan (if it occurred), will stay in Jordan.”

Escalating tensions

The Aqaba summit was the primary of its variety for the reason that US-sponsored talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority collapsed in 2014 over Israel’s refusal to halt the settlement constructions and launch Palestinians imprisoned earlier than 1993.

The assembly got here amid escalating tensions throughout the occupied territories following Israeli army raids in Palestinian cities.

On Sunday, a Palestinian gunman shot lifeless two israeli settlers who have been driving by means of the Palestinian city of Huwara close to the occupied West Financial institution metropolis of Nablus.

Settlers then descended upon Huwara, and underneath the safety of the Israeli military, burned dozens of Palestinian properties and vehicles, A Palestinian medic was additionally shot lifeless by a settler.

Smotrich known as for “putting the cities of terror and its instigators with out mercy, with tanks and helicopters”.

Utilizing a phrase that requires a extra heavy-handed response, he stated Israel ought to act “in a method that conveys that the grasp of the home has gone loopy”.

The Palestinian armed group Islamic Jihad heralded the killing of two Israelis as a “heroic operation”.

“It sends a powerful message to the Aqaba summit that our [Palestinian] resistance is current,” stated Islamic Jihad, which had joined Hamas and different armed teams in opposing the Jordan talks.

The violence follows the deadliest 12 months for Palestinians within the West Financial institution since 2005 – violence that has continued since Netanyahu returned to energy in December.

He leads an alliance with ultra-Orthodox and extreme-right events and has promised to proceed Israeli settlement enlargement within the Palestinian territory.

Palestinian factions condemn Aqaba summit

In Gaza Metropolis, Palestinian political events – apart from Fatah – held an emergency nationwide assembly coinciding with the Aqaba assembly, and condemned the participation of the Palestinian Authority within the talks.

Suhail al-Hindi, a senior member of the Hamas motion, stated that the Aqaba assembly “goals to deliver the Palestinian folks to their knees” by means of safety understandings that concentrate on the Palestinian rebellion within the occupied West Financial institution.

Al-Hindi stated the Aqaba summit, very similar to earlier rounds of talks, “seeks to strengthen Israeli safety away from Palestinian rights”.

Maher Mezher, a member of the leftist Widespread Entrance for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), stated the Aqaba summit doesn’t characterize the Palestinian folks.

Mezher stated that the factions are required to supply all types of assist for the resistance within the occupied territories of the West Financial institution and Jerusalem, and that members of the motion should work collectively “to strengthen the steadfastness of its folks to confront the racist Israeli insurance policies”. which are escalating at a excessive fee throughout the reign of Netanyahu’s authorities”.

Within the closing joint assertion, the factions stated the PA mustn’t wager on guarantees from the US or the Israeli authorities, and known as on a unified nationwide management to be shaped to strengthen Palestinian resistance.

At the very least 62 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli military hearth within the occupied West Financial institution for the reason that starting of this 12 months, based on Palestinian figures.

Eleven Israelis have been killed over the identical interval.

Maram Humaid contributed reporting from Gaza. Zena Al Tahhan contributed reporting from Jerusalem.

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