2 Israelis killed as Israeli, Palestinian officials meet

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The Jordanian authorities connected Sunday announced that Israel and nan Palestinians had agreed to de-escalate tensions, soon aft a Palestinian gunman killed 2 Israelis successful nan occupied West Bank.

Sunday’s shooting marked nan latest unit successful a activity of fighting that has near dozens of Israelis and Palestinians dormant complete nan past year. Jordan invited nan sides pinch nan purpose of reducing tensions up of nan Muslim beatified period of Ramadan.

A connection from Jordan’s Foreign Ministry said that nan Israeli and Palestinian representatives agreed to activity toward a “just and lasting peace” and affirmed nan request to “commit to de-escalation connected nan ground.”

It said they had agreed to sphere nan position quo astatine a contested Jerusalem beatified site, and that Israel had agreed to halt caller colony approvals successful nan occupied West Bank for 4 to six months. It besides said some sides agreed to support “confidence-building steps” and to meet again adjacent period successful Egypt.

The connection marked a mini motion of progress, but galore questions remained. As nan negotiators were meeting, a Palestinian gunman killed 2 Israeli brothers successful nan bluish West Bank.

The service was looking for nan attacker, and Israel’s defense curate called for beefing up nan subject beingness successful nan West Bank.

An Israeli ministerial committee besides gave first support to a connection that would enforce nan decease punishment connected Palestinian militants progressive successful deadly attacks. The measurement was sent to lawmakers for further debate.

“On a difficult time successful which 2 Israelis were murdered successful a Palestinian panic attack, location is thing much symbolic that passing nan decease punishment rule connected terrorists,” said Itamar Ben Gvir, Israel’s far-right nationalist information curate and West Bank settler.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, different settler leader, called for “striking nan cities of panic and its instigators without mercy, pinch tanks and helicopters, successful a measurement that conveys that nan maestro of nan location has gone crazy.”

Sunday’s shooting came days aft an Israeli subject ambush killed 10 Palestinians, astir of them militants, successful nan adjacent Palestinian metropolis of Nablus. But 2 men complete 60 were besides killed successful nan raid, and a 66-year-old man besides died from tear state inhalation. It was 1 of nan deadliest incidents successful nan West Bank successful years.

In nan aftermath of that shooting, Israel approved building of complete 7,000 caller homes successful West Bank settlements. It was not clear whether that bid was affected by nan frost announced by Jordan.

Israel said nan premier minister’s nationalist information advisor arsenic good arsenic nan main of nan Shin Bet home information agency attended nan talks successful neighboring Jordan. The caput of nan Palestinian intelligence services arsenic good arsenic advisers to President Mahmoud Abbas besides joined.

The beingness of apical officials astatine nan meeting, arsenic good arsenic delegations from Egypt, Jordan and nan United States, underscored nan severity of nan crisis. It was besides a uncommon high-level gathering betwixt nan sides, coming during a clip of rising tensions and aft nan Palestinians trim information coordination pinch Israel complete nan violence.

Abbas’ agency said nan Palestinians would “stress nan request to extremity each Israeli unilateral actions.” An Israeli charismatic said nan gathering was meant to easiness tensions up of Ramadan and came aft an American request.

The meeting’s Palestinian attendees were confirmed by a Palestinian official. A Jordanian charismatic besides said nan gathering was meant to extremity “Israeli unilateral actions,” build assurance and lead to much broad contacts betwixt nan sides. He said nan gathering will return spot successful nan Red Sea edifice municipality of Aqaba, Jordan.

All 3 officials said connected information of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk nan gathering pinch nan media.

Palestinians who reason immoderate charismatic engagement pinch Israel said they would protestation nan meeting, while Hamas criticized nan meeting. It called Sunday’s shooting “a earthy reaction” to Israeli incursions into Palestinian areas of nan West Bank and resulting deaths.

“The guidance successful nan West Bank will stay coming and growing, and nary scheme aliases acme will beryllium capable to extremity it,” said spokesperson Hazem Qassem.

Israel has pledged to proceed fighting militants successful nan West Bank wherever nan Palestinian Authority often has small control. Israel besides is led by a far-right authorities pinch members that reason concessions to nan Palestinians and favour colony building connected occupied lands sought by nan Palestinians for a early state.

Violence betwixt Israelis and Palestinians has surged since Israel stepped up raids crossed nan West Bank pursuing a spate of Palestinian attacks past spring. The bloodshed has spiked this year, pinch much than 60 Palestinians killed successful nan West Bank and eastbound Jerusalem, according to a tally by The Associated Press. Palestinian attacks against Israelis person killed 13 group successful 2023.

Israel says nan raids are meant to dismantle militant networks and thwart early attacks. The Palestinians opportunity Israel is further entrenching its 55-year open-ended business of lands they want for a early state, arsenic good arsenic undermine their ain information forces.

Ramadan this twelvemonth coincides pinch nan weeklong Jewish vacation of Passover and worshippers from some faiths are expected to flock to nan beatified sites successful Jerusalem’s Old City, which are often a flashpoint for unit betwixt nan sides. Clashes erupted astatine a cardinal Jerusalem beatified tract past twelvemonth and tensions astatine nan tract helped spark an 11-day warfare pinch Hamas militants successful nan Gaza Strip successful 2021.