The Egyptian government is hosting Israel and the Palestinian Authority beginning on Sunday for an emergency conference aimed at reducing tensions ahead of the Jewish holiday of Passover and the Muslim month of Ramadan.
Representatives from Egypt, Jordan and the United States are attending the conference, which is being held in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh. The Israeli Security Agency, known as Shin Bet, recently warned that it has received a record number of bomb attack warnings ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is sometimes marked with a rise in violence and terrorism against Israel.
Ahead of the conference, senior PA official Hussein al-Sheikh said, “The Palestinian delegation will take part in it on Sunday to protect the rights of the Palestinian people and demand an end to Israeli aggression.”
Islamist terrorist organizations Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) condemned the conference and warned they would carry out more terror attacks against the Jewish state.
“Israel understands only force and must be confronted with all possible means – to participate in this conference is to ignore the popular will,” according to a statement from Hamas and PIJ.
One major goal of the conference is to boost the PA financially in an attempt to prevent the Abbas regime in Ramallah from collapsing, a scenario that could lead to more chaos and violence.
The PA is formally responsible for maintaining security in the areas under its jurisdiction. However, in recent months, local Arab terrorist groups, such as the Lion’s Den, have intensified terrorist attacks against Israel. These groups primarily come from Jenin and Nablus, two cities in the West Bank where Hamas is popular and the PA has limited influence. Israel has consequently launched a growing number of anti-terror operations in the area.
There are clear regional fears that the tensions and violence between the sides could escalate. In February, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan hosted representatives of Israel and the PA in an effort to lower the flames between the sides, whether in the West Bank or on the border between Israel and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.