Palestine, Israel holds security talks in Jordan

World Today

Israeli soldiers take up positions at the scene of a Palestinian shooting attack on an Israeli car at the Hawara checkpoint, near the West Bank city of Nablus, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023. Two Israelis were killed in the shooting, Israeli officials said. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

As high-level security meetings between Israeli and Palestinian leaders took place in Jordan Sunday, Israeli officials said a Palestinian gunman killed two Israelis in a shooting in the occupied West Bank.

A wave of unrest and violence in the West Bank has only grown worse in the last year. Jordan invited the sides to Aqaba ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in order to quell the violence.

Jordan’s Foreign Ministry released a statement saying the representatives from Palestine and Israel agreed to work towards a “just and lasting peace” and to “commit to de-escalation on the ground.”

The statement said that both sides agreed to preserve the status quo for a Jerusalem holy site and Israel agreed to halt new settlement approvals in the occupied West Bank for four to six months.

While the results were applauded by American officials, leaders from both the Palestinian and Israeli sides were not as optimistic.

Leaders within Prime Minister Netanyahu’s coalition said they would not be able to abide by the freeze on new settlements.

Palestinian militant group Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, called the meeting “worthless,” and condemned the Palestinian Authority for taking part in the meeting.