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Israel rejects US proposal for meeting with PA

June 9, 2022 at 11:43 am

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in Rabat, Morocco on March 08, 2022. [Jalal Morchidi – Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli occupation rejected a US proposal last week to bring senior Israeli and Palestinian officials together in a meeting to discuss the stalemate in the peace process, Axios reported three Israeli officials saying.

This came during a visit of Israel’s national security adviser, Eyal Hulata, to Washington and a meeting with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who raised the possibility of holding a five-way summit between Israel, the PA, the US, Egypt and Jordan.

Sherman, the Israeli officials told Axios, proposed that the summit of foreign ministers could take place in Washington or in the region.

Axios reported that the Joe Biden administration is trying to create a “political horizon” or diplomatic process between Israeli and Palestinian officials in an attempt to strengthen the Palestinian Authority (PA).

While PA President Mahmoud Abbas has been warning Israel and the Biden administration about the potential consequences if the peace process stalemate continues, Axios reported that the Israeli government couldn’t move forward with political steps related to the issue.

Hulata told Sherman that the Israeli government deems the conditions on both sides not ripe for such an initiative and stressed that Israel isn’t interested in a “photo-op” that ends with nothing, resulting in an “expectation crisis”.

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“We don’t like this idea. Past experience taught us that such an expectation crisis could lead to an escalation on the ground,” according to a senior Israeli official.

A State Department spokesperson added: “We have nothing to announce.”

In December, the Biden administration proposed the idea, but Israel rejected it without giving a clear response on its position.

However, when Sherman raised the issue last week, Axios reported, the Israeli government decided to state its position against it more clearly.

An Israeli official indicated that the government doesn’t understand why the Biden administration continues to push for this idea since the chances of a summit happening are extremely low.