RAMALLAH, (Xinhua) — Top Palestinian official slams the U.S. efforts in dealing with the current tension between Palestinians and Israelis, as violent confrontations still continue to flare up in different areas in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
Ahead of a meeting between the U.S. President Barack Obama and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington on Monday, spokesperson of the Palestinian Presidency Nabil Abu Rdeineh considered American remarks regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as “discouraging and in-conducive to calm the situation.”
In a statement published by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, Abu Rdeineh said that the conflict currently stands at an alarming crossroads which could have dangerous consequences on the whole region, calling upon all parties to assume their responsibilities in solving it.
The presidency’s statement warned against the continuing Israeli policy of arresting and shooting Palestinians “without a reason” in light of a wave of violence that flared up in the beginning of October in response to tension in al-Aqsa mosque compound where Palestinians accuse Israel of imposing more restrictions on Palestinian worshipers access to the holy site.
Abu Rdeineh stressed that Jerusalem and the holy sites are a red line and settlements are illegal, adding that Palestinians reject any interim solutions that don’t include the establishment of the Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital, on the foundation of the Arab Peace Initiative and the international legitimacy.
Rob Malley, an advisor for the U.S. president had said that President Obama has reached a conclusion that Palestinians and Israelis won’t reach a comprehensive final status agreement in the remainder of his term, “and there likely may not even be meaningful negotiations between the two sides.”
In a press meeting published by the White House website, Malley added that Obama wants to listen to Netanyahu’s views regards achieving progress in the current situation, “given its (Israel’s) own interests in stabilizing the situation in preventing the emergence of a one-state solution.”
Netanyahu travels to the U.S. Sunday afternoon to meet Obama in the White House on Monday, the Israeli public radio reported.
The radio quoted sources in the Israeli government saying that they hope that Netanyahu’s visit would “open a new page in the relations between the two countries.”
The radio reported that the meeting would discuss the U.S assistance to Iran following the nuclear deal.
On the ground level, the intensity of the violence between Palestinians and Israelis has relatively calmed down in the past few days, but tension is still high.
The Palestinian death toll since the breakout of the current escalation in October, mounted to 79. In turn, more than 10 Israelis were killed in attacks carried out by Palestinians.
The latest death occurred Sunday morning when a Palestinian was killed by the Israeli army’s fire at Zatara checkpoint near Nablus city, north of the West Bank.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said that the Israeli authorities captured the body of the unidentified man, preventing the Palestinian medics from approaching the site.
A spokesperson of the Israeli police said in a statement that the man was driving a car when he ran over Israelis standing near buss stations, wounding three of them.
Since early October, Israel has detained more than 1,600 Palestinians from east Jerusalem and the West Bank, Palestinian sources said.
A report, issued by the Detainees and ex-Detainees Affairs Committee in the PalestineLiberation Organization (PLO), said that many Israeli jails and detention centers are getting overcrowded.
Israeli authorities say that the detained are accused of carrying out attacks against Israelis, whereas Palestinian human rights organization accuse Israel of tutoring Palestinians to intimidate them from participating in protests against Israel.
Palestinian-Israeli peace talks have been frozen since the end of March of 2014, after nine month of U.S.-brokered talks failed to achieve progress to end the decade-long conflict.