In lieu of the surging violence in the occupied West Bank region, Jordan will act as a diplomatic mediator between Israel and Palestine to avert a further escalation of the violence.
The meeting is to be held this week in Aqaba, at the Red Sea port, and will be attended by officials from Egypt as well as the Middle Eastern advisor to US President Joe Biden, Brett McGurk. This meeting will be the first time in many years that Israeli and Palestinian officials have come together to pursue talks for a peaceful resolution.
Jordan and the officials mediating the talks hope that the meeting will give Palestinians a political future, or at least the hope of having one. Furthermore, the meeting would de-escalate rising violence in the regions of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip ahead of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
These talks come after Israeli forces carried out a raid in the West Bank city of Nablus that resulted in the deaths of eleven Palestinian residents. The United Nations stated that 2022 would be the deadliest year for the West Bank since 2006, when Israeli forces killed 171 Palestinian residents, including thirty children. Since the beginning of this year itself, clashes between the two parties have killed sixty-two Palestinians, including children.
Political Security between Israel and Palestine
Jordanian officials stated in a press conference that the political security arrangement between Israelis and Palestinians is part of Jordan’s stepped-up and ongoing efforts with the Palestinian authorities and other parties to end unilateral measures by Israel, which could fuel more violence, cause more civilian deaths, and escalate the already-worsening political landscape.
Earlier this year, United States President Joe Biden, along with his Middle Eastern envoy Brett McGurk, held talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah. The United States has historically been an ally of Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. Jordan has reiterated its stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, repeatedly stating that it believes that only a two-state solution would be the ultimate resolution and the only way to end years of violence and clashes.
In the 1967 Middle Eastern war, Israeli forces captured the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and eastern Jerusalem. These are the precise territories that Palestine has attempted to claim in order to seek and establish independent statehood and put an end to decades of conflict.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number as well as the frequency of violent clashes and attacks between Israel and Palestine, especially around the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem during the Ramadan fasting month, which coincided with Judaism’s Passover and Christian Easter.
Ever since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power, Jewish settlement building has increased. Several countries in the Arab region have expressed concerns over the accelerated Jewish settlement building.
In January 2023, Israeli forces launched airstrikes on Gaza, killing at least ten Palestinians after two rockets launched from the Gaza Strip were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
Officials from the Arab League as well as the United States hope that the upcoming peaceful talks arranged by Jordan would perhaps lead to a de-escalation of the presently rising violence, which could then be furthered to a more peaceful resolution between the two parties, hoping that it would put an end to years of conflict.
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