High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini has warned of the escalation of violence in the occupied Palestinian territories, saying the prospect of resolving the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict is getting out of reach.
“Still, we are not moving forward. The opposite is true: the perspective we say we want to achieve of [the so-called] two-states is fading away,” Mogherini told the American Jewish Committee Global Forum in Washington on Tuesday.
Mogherini further called for renewed talks between Israelis and Palestinians, saying “it would be great if new and meaningful negotiations could begin immediately,” but stressed that there were no conditions for that to happen.
“We believe our recommendations will be hopefully a contribution to recreate the conditions for the two sides to get back to meaningful negotiations,” she added.
The last round of the so-called peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians collapsed in 2014. Tel Aviv’s illegal settlement activities in the occupied lands and its refusal to release senior Palestinian prisoners were among major reasons behind the failure of the discussions.
Elsewhere in her remarks, the EU foreign policy chief cautioned against renewed violence between Israelis and Palestinians, saying, “If the situation does not improve, it will get worse.”
The occupied territories have been the scene of heightened tensions since August 2015, when Israel imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem). The Palestinians say Tel Aviv seeks to change the status quo of the holy Muslim site.
“The next escalation of violence could spiral out of control. We don’t want to face the next Gaza war,” Mogherini said.
Israel has waged three wars on Gaza since 2008, including the 2014 offensive, which left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead and over 11,100 others injured.
On May 3, an international conference was held in the French capital, Paris, to set the framework for the upcoming French-led initiative to revive negotiations between Palestinians and the Tel Aviv regime with the participation of both Palestinian and Israeli negotiators.
Over 20 representatives mainly from the UN, the EU and the Arab League attended the meeting to plan for the international summit expected to be held by the end of the year. Palestinians and Israel did not attend the meeting.
The meeting's final statement voiced alarm at the situation on the ground due to Israel's acts of violence against Palestinians and unlawful settlement building.
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