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Israel Hosts Summit with US and 4 Arab Countries: Live Update

credit…Via Alaa Badarneh / EPA, Shutterstock

SDE BOKER, Israel — For many Palestinians, the timing of the summit in Israel is driving home the feeling that they have been abandoned in parts of the Arab world.

The first Sunday of the two-day meeting is the 20th anniversary of the Arab Peace Initiative, an agreement approved by all members of the Arab League in 2002 to normalize with Israel in exchange for the creation of a Palestinian state. promised.

Twenty years later, the attendance of several Arab League members at the Israeli summit shows how much that solidarity has declined. Of the five countries invited to the ceremony, only Jordan declined. Monday in Ramallah, on the west bank of the Jordan River, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Arabs’ support for Palestinians remains high, but some Arab leaders consider it a national economic and security benefit rather than the Palestinian problem, which is divided into the West Bank and Gaza. Seems to be prioritized. He has been Loggerhead for many years and is not in a position to exert a united impetus for sovereignty.

“Israel has long tried to force the world to ignore its occupation and apartheid regime, but now these other states are in line,” said Diana Butz, a Palestinian analyst and former Palestine Liberation Organization lawyer. Seems to be. ” It just shows that we have been right all the time. They are working with Israel not for the Palestinians, but for their own limited security interests. These governments are not Palestinian friends and should not be considered as such. “

At the start of the summit, the Israeli Department of Defense announced that it would allow an additional 8,000 Palestinians to work in Israel in Gaza, nearly doubling the current number, but talk of new peace talks. There was not.

The meeting in Israel also highlights the limits of an ongoing campaign for Palestinians and rights groups to cast Israel as an apartheid state in the consciousness of the world. Israel has strongly rejected apartheid accusations.

If this claim helps to outlaw Israel in the global rights community, the summit shows how Israel’s legitimacy is growing at the same time in the Arab world.

The summit was severely criticized by Palestinian Islamic groups, including Hamas, a radical group with de facto authority in the Gaza Strip. Another militant group, Islamic Jihad, said the terrorist attack in northern Israel on Sunday night was a response to the summit, itself reported by a Palestinian television channel.

Instead of referring directly to the summit, the Palestinian Autonomous Government has created a “new security alliance to avoid the Palestinian cause” despite Israel’s expansion of Israeli settlements on the west bank of the Jordan River. Made a diagonal statement that implicitly criticized the participants.

For all fanfare surrounding the summit, Israel will eventually need to return to the table for negotiations with Palestinians, said Mkhaimar Abusada, a professor of political science based in Gaza.

“After all, they need to recognize that it is the Palestinians who need to make peace, not the other countries,” he said.

However, the only Palestinians approaching the meeting were the few Palestinian workers at the hotel where the summit was held.

“You probably know how I feel as a Palestinian about this summit,” said Fares Argan, a 42-year-old cleaner who commute to hotels every day from the occupied west bank.

“We are accustomed to this kind of treatment from others,” he added.

Rawan Sheikh Ahmad Contributed to the report from Haifa, Israel. Lara Jakes From SdeBoker.

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