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Israeli and Palestinian delegations meet in Egypt, communique claims they seek direct negotiations

ABOVE: In this handout photo provided by the Israel Government Press Office (GPO), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during the funeral of former Israeli leader Shimon Peres on September 30, 2016 in Jerusalem, Israel. World leaders and dignitaries from 70 countries attended the state funeral of Israel's ninth president, Shimon Peres (Photo by Amos Ben Gershom/GPO via Getty Images).

JERUSALEM (CC) - On Sunday, delegations from Israel and the Palestine Authority met in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt with diplomats from the nations of Jordan, Egypt and the United States, where officials reaffirmed their mission of de-escalating tensions in Israel before the holy Muslim month of Ramadan begins on Thursday.

A joint statement was released on Sunday, announcing Israeli and Palestinian intentions for the “prevention of further violence.”

The release also highlighted the fact that the delegations “are looking forward to cooperating with a view to consolidating the basis for direct negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis.”

In recent years, the international peace community has been very hot on the heels of both sides in order to get them to cool down their tempers, sit at the table of brotherhood together and work out a peace deal, or "normalization" as it has been referred to since former President Donald Trump's Abraham Accords began in 2020.

The Israeli delegation in Sharm el-Sheikh included National Security Council chair Tzachi Hanegbi and Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar. Intelligence chief Majed Faraj led the PA delegation. Egypt's and Jordan's delegations were led by their respective Foreign Ministers, Sameh Shoukry and Ayman Safadi. The US delegation was led by White House National Security Council Middle East Coordinator Brett McGurk and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf.

Sunday’s meeting was a follow-up to the one held in Aqaba, Jordan last month — the first reported such high-level gathering of Israeli and Palestinian leaders in years. The sides have also reportedly agreed to meet for a third time next month.

Historically, Ramadan has experienced a spike in violence in Israel.

According to a "Times of Israel" report, 14 people have been killed in Palestinian attacks and over 80 Palestinians have been killed so far this year. Most of the Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israel's Defense Force.

While the West Bank, aka Judea Samaria is one of the most volatile locations on earth, in East Jerusalem potentially thousands of Palestinians will convene daily at or near the Temple Mount aka the Noble Sanctuary - a historic flashpoint for religious violence and flareups between Muslims and Jews.

Both religions claim the location as a holy site.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.




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