March 20, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel and Palestinians Make Peace Commitments in Sharm el-Sheikh

March 20, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel and Palestinians Make Peace Commitments in Sharm el-Sheikh

Latest Developments

At the invitation of Egypt, the United States, and Jordan, Palestinian and Israeli government officials met in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday to discuss the soaring number of attacks in the West Bank and Israel. The talks signal an effort by Palestinians and Israelis to work toward reducing violence days before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

According to an outline of the agreements released in a communique by Jordan’s foreign ministry, Palestinian and Israeli officials both pledged to advance peace talks and deescalate tensions on the ground “to advance security, stability, and peace for Palestinians and Israelis alike.” Likewise, both parties agreed to establish a mechanism to reduce violence, incitement, and inflammatory statements. The parties also agreed to reconvene for more talks in April.

Expert Analysis

“The good news is that there is an effort underway between Israelis and Palestinians to curb unrest during Ramadan. The bad news is that violent groups have been preparing to unleash terror attacks for some time now. And it’s difficult to say if any concrete commitments were made at the summit. Outside actors could have an outsized role in keeping a lid on the violence. Jordan’s rhetoric in particular could be a bellwether.”Jonathan Schanzer, FDD Senior Vice President for Research

Efforts to Calm Tension as Violence Soars

The meeting is the second round of talks that began in Aqaba, Jordan, on February 26. The conference aimed to agree on a viable solution to deescalate violence. Recent terror attacks inside Israel — including a March 6 roadside bombing — have exacerbated concerns by Israeli and American officials that terrorist groups will exploit Ramadan to carry out further attacks.

While the talks in Sharm el-Sheikh were proceeding, a Palestinian terrorist shot and injured a U.S.-Israeli citizen who was traveling in the West Bank city of Hawara. Israeli security forces apprehended the shooter, who had used a makeshift weapon during the terror attack. The attack occurred in the same city where a Palestinian terrorist shot and killed two Israelis three weeks ago, provoking retaliation by Israelis against homes and property in Hawara.

Mixed Messages

Prior to the talks, Hamas and other terrorist organizations issued statements urging the Palestinian Authority (PA) not to meet with Israel. The meeting “only serves the occupation’s agenda to consolidate its power and control over Palestinian land,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said. An unnamed PA official also expressed doubt, saying the chance of a successful outcome in Sharm el-Sheikh was “zero.” Still, an unnamed American official said the outcome of the talks was “constructive, honest and forthright.”

Related Analysis

Flash Brief Israel, Palestinians Reaffirm Need to Work Together,” FDD Flash Brief

Terrorist Wounds Three in Tel Aviv Shooting,” FDD Flash Brief


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