Three weeks after the much-touted summit in Aqaba, Jordan, a follow-up summit will be held between Israel and the Palestinian Authority today (Sunday) in Sharm el-Sheikh. Egypt, with the participation of representatives from the US, Egypt, and Jordan.
The main purpose of the summit is to lower tensions between Israel and the PA ahead of the Islamic month of Ramadan and the Jewish holiday of Passover.
The Israeli delegation will be led by National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi, who will be accompanied by Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar and IDF Major General Ghassan Alian. The PA delegation will be led by adviser to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas Hussein al-Sheikh.
A political source says that “the purpose of the gathering is to strengthen the general conclusions reached in Aqaba, out of an Israeli desire to have calm ahead of Ramadan.”
There is pessimism on both sides that today’s summit can achieve its goals since several terrorist organizations have already announced their intention to increase their violent activities ahead of Ramadan.
The previous summit in Aqaba was overshadowed by the murder of the Israeli brothers Hallal and Yagel Yaniv by a terrorist in Huwara that same day.
At the Aqaba summit, the PAs presented a list of demands against Israel, including: Stopping Israeli entry into Area A, stopping mass entry of Jews to the Temple Mount, freezing the worsening of the conditions of terrorist prisoners, returning the bodies of all terrorists held by Israel and Israeli guarantees that there will be no provocations by worshipers at the Temple Mount during the month of Ramadan.
The Americans, Egyptians and Jordanians made it clear to them that the list of demands should be put aside and that the focus should be on the dialogue.
The representatives from Israel presented a document that includes 12 unilateral measures carried out by the PA, including turning to the International Criminal Court and incitement, and demanded that they stop. Israel agreed to freeze the construction in Judea and Samaria for a period of four months.