Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Palestinian President Pressures for a Political Process, Not Just Calm

Palestinian President Pressures for a Political Process, Not Just Calm

Friday, 29 April, 2022 - 06:45
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah II in Amman (Wafa)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is pressing to reduce tension in the Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem.

According to informed sources, Abbas wants to launch a political process to achieve lasting and comprehensive peace as the only solution that will guarantee calm.

The sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Abbas agreed with Jordan's King Abdullah II to resume efforts to advance the political process in the region.

Abbas informed King Abdullah that establishing a Palestinian state is the only guarantor for achieving security and stability in the region, including for Israel.

Abbas met the Jordanian monarch in Amman, and the two leaders discussed the recent Israeli escalation in Jerusalem and the peace process.

The President also relayed the same message to the head of the Israeli Shin Bet, Ronen Bar, whom he met in Ramallah last week, and all the officials who contacted him during the current escalation period, including US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

The President said it was necessary to return to the political process that ends the occupation of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

During the meeting, King Abdullah stressed the need to step up efforts toward reaching just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution, guaranteeing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital, according to a Royal Court statement.

The monarch reaffirmed his rejection of any attempts to alter the historical and legal status quo in al-Haram al-Sharif, stressing that Jordan continues its efforts to safeguard Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem under the Hashemite Custodianship.

Jordan is the custodian of Muslim and Christian sites in the Old City, supervision recognized by Israel, which signed a peace treaty with Jordan in 1994.

Ahead of his meeting with Abbas, the Jordanian monarch attended the tripartite summit in Cairo with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.

The sources said that Abbas took advantage of the escalation to tell the Israelis and the US administration that without a political solution, violence would prevail.

Contrary to expectations, Washington did not launch prospects for a political process and was satisfied with supporting economic initiatives to break the deadlock and build confidence.

Palestinians refused this situation to become an alternative to the political process and called for direct US support to launch a new political process in the region that would lead to direct negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) offered to launch a political track under international supervision.

The Authority expects King Abdullah to help persuade the current US administration to intervene more strongly in the conflict.

Last week, Abbas met with Bar in Ramallah amid efforts to restore calm following heightened tensions between Palestinians and Israeli forces atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Israeli media said that the meeting discussed reducing tensions with the end of the month of Ramadan and enhancing coordination between Ramallah and Tel Aviv and achieving peace.

After the government led by Naftali Bennett was sworn in about a year ago, Abbas held a series of meetings with senior Israeli officials, including Bar, shortly after taking over as head of the security in November 2021.

Abbas also met Defense Minister Benny Gantz twice.

Editor Picks