Report: Switzerland offers to mediate between Israel and PA

Swiss President reportedly offers to host diplomatic summit in which Israel and PA will try to resume negotiations.

Elad Benari ,

Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga
Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga

Switzerland is offering to mediate between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) by holding a diplomatic summit, in which the sides will try to resolve the disagreements regarding the sovereignty crisis and resume negotiations between the parties on the basis of the Trump deal, the Yediot Aharonot newspaper reported on Thursday.

According to the report, Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga, who is leading the initiative, has spoken to President Reuven Rivlin and PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and two weeks ago also spoke with Jordan's King Abdullah II.

The conversation with Rivlin took place last Thursday and the conversation with Abbas last Monday. The conversations centered around Israel's intention to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria. Switzerland is concerned that the move will lead to violence and instability. Sommaruga emphasized to Rivlin during the conversation that “annexation is inconsistent with international law.”

Sommaruga stressed that Switzerland's involvement in efforts to achieve a fair and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians is based on a two-state solution based on international law and UN resolutions. She stated that Switzerland would not recognize any change unless both parties agreed to it. During the talks, Sommaruga also stressed Switzerland's willingness to contribute to resuming talks between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.

Abbas has long called for an international peace conference that would deal with the stalled Israel-PA peace process.

The PA chairman introduced the plan as an alternative to the peace plan being promoted by the Trump administration. Abbas has refused to consider the Trump administration an honest broker for negotiations since President Donald Trump’s declaration in late 2017 recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The peace talks between Israel and the PA failed in 2014 when the PA unilaterally applied to join international organizations in breach of the conditions of the talks.

The PA recently submitted a counter-proposal to US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” in which it says it is prepared to renew long-stalled peace talks with Israel and to agree to "minor" territorial concessions.