Skip to main content

Jordan: Talks between Palestinian and Israeli officials kick off

American and Egyptian representatives also set to attend as talks take place following escalating violence
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) welcomes King Abdullah II of Jordan (L) ahead of a meeting in Ramallah (AFP/File photo)

Israeli and Palestinian leadership began talks in Jordan on Sunday, following a deadly escalation in violence in the occupied West Bank.

The meeting is being held in the Red Sea resort town of Aqaba, according to Jordanian state broadcaster Al-Mamlaka. 

Palestinian intelligence chief Majed Faraj and Israel's Shin Bet domestic security agency head Ronen Bar were both set to attend, sources told AFP.

US National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk is also expected to be present, as well as Jordanian and Egyptian security officials, the sources added.

Israeli forces kill 11 Palestinians in 'merciless' Nablus raid
Read More »

The talks come after Israeli forces killed 11 Palestinians, including a child and three elderly people, and wounded 100 others on Wednesday during a military raid in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

More than 60 Israeli military vehicles stormed Nablus after an undercover force was spotted in the historic Old City, eyewitnesses told Middle East Eye.

"It was very scary... We could hear the sounds of explosions and people screaming in the street, and many of us started crying and praying to God to protect the city and its residents," Nablus resident Nabeela Suliman told MEE.

The raid, which lasted for four hours, focused on a building in the city that reportedly housed Palestinian resistance fighters.

Israel's military launched air strikes on the Gaza Strip on Thursday morning, after rockets were fired from the besieged Palestinian enclave following the Nablus raid.

At least 62 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis this year, at a rate of more than one fatality per day.

This follows a steep increase in violence in 2022 when at least 167 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the highest death toll in those territories in a single year since the Second Intifada.

Meanwhile, Palestinians killed 30 Israelis last year and 10 this year. 

United Nations experts have condemned Israel for the record levels of violence in 2022 and warned that an even higher number of casualties could be recorded this year. 

The US CIA director, William Burns, warned earlier this month that current tensions bear an "unhappy resemblance" to the Second Intifada and efforts to prevent "explosions of violence" are a challenge.

"The decision to take part in the Aqaba meeting despite the pain and massacres being endured by the Palestinian people comes from a desire to bring an end to the bloodshed," the Fatah movement, which President Mahmoud Abbas belongs to, said on Twitter. 

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.