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Jordan: Israeli and Palestinian officials pledge to prevent escalating violence

Representatives meet in Aqaba alongside US and Egyptian officials, on same day two Israeli settlers are fatally shot near Nablus
A view of the Flag of the Arab Revolt flying in Jordan's coastal city of Aqaba, where talks took place between Israeli and Palestinian officials (AFP/File photo)
A view of the Flag of the Arab Revolt flying in Jordan's coastal city of Aqaba, where talks took place between Israeli and Palestinian officials (AFP/File photo)

Israeli and Palestinian officials pledged to prevent escalating violence during talks in Jordan on Sunday. 

Representatives from both sides "reaffirmed the need to commit to de-escalation on the ground and to prevent further violence", a joint statement read.

Palestinian intelligence chief Majed Faraj and Israel's Shin Bet domestic security agency head Ronen Bar were both in attendance at the meeting in the Red Sea resort town of Aqaba, sources told AFP.

US National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk was also present, alongside Jordanian and Egyptian security officials.

Jordan's King Abdullah II met McGurk and stressed "the importance of intensifying efforts to push for calm, de-escalation in the Palestinian territories, and stopping any unilateral measures that would destabilise stability and undermine the chances of achieving peace", according to a royal court statement.

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Settlers killed near Nablus

Elsewhere on Sunday, two Israeli settlers were killed by a Palestinian near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. 

Hillel and Yagel Yaniv, two brothers from Har Bracha, an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank, were fatally shot in their car while driving through the Palestinian town of Hawara.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a joint statement following the shooting, announcing that the Knesset had passed legislation approving the death penalty for those convicted of terrorism offences against Israelis.

Orit Strock, an Israeli settler and government minister, called for the "immediate return of the Israeli delegation" from the Jordan talks following the attack. 

"The Hawara operation is a natural response to the occupation's crimes, the latest of which was the Nablus massacre," a spokesperson for Hamas said on Sunday.

"The resistance in the West Bank will remain present and escalate, and no plan or summit will be able to stop it."

Israeli forces killed 11 Palestinians, including a child and three elderly people, and wounded 100 others on Wednesday during a military raid in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

At least 62 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis this year, at a rate of more than one fatality per day.

This follows a steep increase in violence in 2022 when at least 167 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the highest death toll in those territories in a single year since the Second Intifada.

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