Israel's Minister of Defence, Ehud Barak, has claimed that the security situation in the occupied West Bank is relatively stable at the moment. He attributed this to the security coordination between the Israeli army and the Palestinian Authority's security forces.
In an interview with Israel Army Radio on Monday, 2 January, Barak added that this calm is in place "while Hamas continues to grow and focus its control over the Gaza Strip".
Mr Barak told the interviewer that the meeting between Israel and the Palestinian Authority scheduled to be held in Amman today (Tuesday) is "very important". The two sides are due to meet in the Jordanian capital in the presence of representatives of the Middle East Quartet. The lack of significant progress does not diminish the meeting's importance, Barak said. He stressed that his country is ready to return to negotiations in order to achieve a breakthrough consistent with Israel's interests and in light of the "bad alternatives".