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Palestinian Authority urged not to attend security meeting with Israel in Egypt

People look at a damaged car where three Palestinian resistance fighters were killed during an Israeli operation, near the city of Jenin, the occupied West Bank, March 9, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

Palestinian political factions have called upon the Palestinian Authority (PA) not to dispatch any delegates to a forthcoming security meeting with Israel in Egypt's Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, which is scheduled to take place this weekend.

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), the Palestinian People's Party and the Palestinian Democratic Union in a joint statement urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to stop participation of Palestinian representatives in the event.

They also asked Egypt and Jordan to cancel the upcoming security meeting, and not go down a path that would pose a threat to Palestinians and undercut their legitimate demands.

The Palestinian groups underscored they would not commit themselves to the final resolution of the Sharm el-Sheikh meeting, especially as they had earlier requested an emergency meeting to review the outcome of the Aqaba conference held in Jordan on February 26.

The groups further highlighted that such meetings are of a security nature, and do not serve the main political interest of Palestinian people, which is an end to the Israeli occupation.

“Instead of helping to promote solidarity within the Palestinian society and provide mechanisms to counter the aggression of neo-Nazis, these events assist occupiers and escalate existing threats. They further exacerbate divisions and deepen weaknesses,” the statement also read.

It added, “In defiance of the flagrant violations of the neo-Nazi cabinet [led by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu] and repeated calls for the boycott of the occupying Tel Aviv regime in the international arenas, Israeli and US officials call on Palestinians to participate in security meetings, and seek to draw Arabs’ support.”

“While the main objective of Aqaba and Sharm el-Sheikh meetings has been described as defusing tensions in the volatile Palestinian territories, the ideal will materialize only through an immediate cessation of Israel’s aggressive policies against Palestinians as well as the international community’s unrelenting pressure on Israel,” the Palestinian resistance groups said.

“The US and its allies seek to sideline Palestinians’ struggle against the Zionist regime, and place Palestinians under more pressure instead. They also intend to take the edge off the legitimate right of Palestinians in the fight against Zionism, and divert the Palestinian issue from a political perspective into a security-oriented matter,” they also stated.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) said on Wednesday it will participate in a security meeting with Israel in Egypt's Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh this weekend.

Egypt, Jordan and the US will attend the meeting, due on March 19.

The agreement to attend the meeting came following a meeting between Hussein al-Sheikh, Secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)'s Executive Committee, and US Special Envoy for Palestinian Affairs, Hady Amr, in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Last month, Palestinian and Israeli delegates participated in a meeting in Jordan, along with Egypt and the US, in an effort to ease tension in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Participants in the meeting agreed to take steps to advance confidence-building measures and to renew security cooperation between the PA and Israel.

Tension have escalated across the Palestinian territories in recent weeks amid repeated Israeli military raids into Palestinian towns.

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