In a major breakthrough, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, on Sunday, held peace talks with two Israeli officials. The meet was held in the West Bank city of Ramallah, which also serves as the headquarters for the Palestinian National Authority. Direct peace talks between the two conflicting sides have been stalled since March 2014, albeit Abbas has been holding occasional talks with Zionist leaders.
On Sunday, Abbas held discussions with Israel’s Minister of Health Nitzan Horowitz and Minister of regional Cooperation Issawi Frej wherein he asserted that it was important to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, according to Times of Israel. Furthermore, calling for ‘justice' and ‘comprehensive peace’ in the region, the embattled leader demanded the implementation of international resolutions including the Oslo Pact. It is imperative to note that while addressing the UNGA last month, Abbas warned that if Israel does not rescind back to the 1967 demarcations within one year, Palestine will retaliate with action. Reiterating the same, Abbas emphasized the need of halting Israeli settlements in the West Bank in addition to ending raids on Palestinian towns and displacing Arabs from east Jerusalem.
The city of Jerusalem has been the bone of contention between the Arabs and the Jews for a century now. The ancient city of Jerusalem houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest place for Islam. The same land is also revered as the holiest in Judaism as Temple Mount. Frequent flashpoints at the site have triggered not only a war of nerves but also ammunition between Palestinians and Israelis. Earlier in May, Israel and Gaza based Hamas engaged in an 11-day long war which led to more than 200 fatalities.
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in late September, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned Israel to withdrawal to the 1967 boundaries within one year or face repercussions. Following the six-day war in 1967, Israel occupied the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem. While Palestinians initially objected to it, they later accepted the demarcations under Oslo Accords, allowing the Palestinians to self-govern the captured land. However, over the years, the zionists have increased their influence in the region by building hundreds of settlements and cementing their claim on the land.