Israeli and Palestinian chief negotiators met covertly in Jordan last week in order to build trust in an attempt to revive the failed peace process.
Israeli Interior Minister Silvan Shalom met with Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat last week in Amman, Israeli sources revealed. The exact topics of discussion were not stated, but the general purpose of the clandestine meeting was to advance the peace process.
The meeting was described in several media reports as a “trust-building move.” Sources told Ynet that “[the meeting] was intended to break the ice and to see how it will be possible to move forward [with the peace process].”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Shalom to lead peace negotiations on behalf of Israel. “If the Palestinians are serious and ready to sit for true negotiations, without preconditions and without compromises, I promise that they will find a true partner,” Shalom said in June at the annual Herzliya Conference, where Israeli leaders articulate national policy. “I call on the Palestinians and on the moderate Arab countries to join, to unite, and to establish a security-political-economic conference that will advance the negotiations and the situation in the region.”
Official peace talks were suspended in April 2014 when Palestinian Autority President Mahmoud Abbas formed a unity government with Hamas in violation of the Oslo Accords. The European Union has indicated that it was prepared to take unilateral steps to pressure Israel and the Palestinian Authority to restart negotiations. New Zealand also pledged to use its position on the UN Security Council to force renewed peace talks.
By: Sara Abramowicz, United with Israel
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