2 Israelis killed as Israeli, Palestinian officials meet

Jerusalem –

A Palestinian gunman opened fire on an Israeli vehicle in the occupied West Bank on Sunday, killing two Israelis, a senior politician and a settlement leader said. The shooting overshadowed a high-level meeting of Palestinian and Israeli delegations in neighboring Jordan, aimed at curbing a surge in violence ahead of Ramadan, the holy month of Islam.

The shooting comes days after a deadly Israeli army raid in a nearby Palestinian city left 10 people dead. The military said it was looking for attackers who shot at a car and fled on a main road in the West Bank.

In a first move, Israeli ministers have approved a proposal to impose the death penalty on Palestinian militants involved in the deadly attacks.

“There is nothing more symbolic than passing a death penalty law for terrorists on a difficult day when two Israelis were killed in a terrorist attack in Palestine,” said Itamar Itamar, Israel’s far-right national security minister. Ben Gull said.

West Bank settler leaders have called on Israel to withdraw its delegation from talks in Jordan and crack down on the Palestinians. Hamas, the Islamist militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, said no summit could stop the Palestinians from fighting Israel.

Israel said the prime minister’s national security adviser and the head of the Shin Bet internal security agency will attend meetings in neighboring Jordan. The head of Palestinian intelligence and an adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas were expected to attend.

The presence of high-level officials at the meeting, along with delegations from Egypt, Jordan and the United States, underscored the seriousness of the crisis. It was also a rare high-level meeting between the two sides at a time of heightened tensions and after the Palestinians broke off security coordination with Israel over violence.

Abbas’ office said the Palestinians would “emphasize the need to stop all unilateral Israeli actions.” Israeli officials said the talks were meant to defuse pre-Ramadan tensions and took place at the request of the United States.

The Palestinian attendees of the meeting were confirmed by the Palestinian authorities. Jordanian officials also said the talks were intended to stop “Israel’s unilateral actions”, build trust and lead to more comprehensive contacts between the two sides. said it would take place in the Red Sea resort of Aqaba.

All three officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the media meeting.

Palestinians who oppose official engagement with Israel said they would protest the meeting, but Hamas criticized the meeting. It said Sunday’s shootings were a “natural response” to Israel’s invasion of the Palestinian region of the West Bank and the resulting deaths.

“West Bank resistance will continue to exist and grow. There will be no plan or summit to stop it,” said spokesman Hazem Qassem.

It is not clear what the talks will achieve. Israel has pledged to continue its fight against militants in the West Bank, which is often under little control by the Palestinian authorities. Israel is also led by a far-right government that opposes concessions to the Palestinians and supports the building of settlements in the occupied territories sought by the Palestinians for a future state. Israeli authorities last week approved the construction of her new settlement of more than 7,000 homes in the occupied West Bank, according to a group of activists who attended the planning meeting.

Violence between Israel and Palestine has surged since Israel stepped up its raids on the West Bank following a series of Palestinian attacks last spring. Bloodshed has surged this year, killing more than 60 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to an Associated Press tally, while Palestinian attacks on Israelis killed 13 of them in 2023.

Israel says the raids are intended to dismantle militant networks and deter future attacks. The Palestinian says it further entrenched her 55-year unrestricted occupation of land Israel wants for its future state, undermining its own security forces.

This year’s Ramadan coincides with the week-long Jewish Passover holiday, and worshipers of both religions are expected to flock to the holy sites in Jerusalem’s Old City. Last year, clashes erupted in the main holy city of Jerusalem, and tensions there sparked his 11-day war with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip in 2021.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button