Aid trucks enter Gaza via Kerem Shalom Crossing (file)
Aid trucks enter Gaza via Kerem Shalom Crossing (file) Flash 90

The so-called “Quartet” of Middle East mediators on Thursday urged Israel and the Palestinian Authority to address an array of challenges, including ongoing violence in Judea and Samaria, the advancement of new housing units in Judea and Samaria, and “the untenable fiscal crisis within the Palestinian Authority.”

A statement following an in-person meeting of Quartet envoys from the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia in Oslo welcomed steps announced by Israel “to reach out to the Palestinian Authority and to assist with the fiscal crisis”, according to The Associated Press.

The envoys also said they remain “deeply concerned by developments in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.”

“In this context, the Quartet highlights the urgent need for all parties to take additional steps to address these challenges directly through fiscal and other reforms, as well as to avoid unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and undermine the prospects for peace,” said the statement as quoted in AP.

The envoys said there is a “pressing need to address the fragile situation in Gaza ... by ensuring continued humanitarian efforts and an easing of access and movement restrictions for people and goods.” They called for support of “all relevant stakeholders, including in the region.”

They also underscored “the importance of respect for human rights and the actions of civil society groups.”

The Quartet, first established in 2002, had been on the sidelines in recent years, allowing the US to spearhead efforts to broker an Israel-PA deal.

Past efforts under the Obama Administration to broker a peace agreement failed in 2014 when the PA unilaterally applied to join international organizations in breach of the conditions of the talks.

During former President Donald Trump’s time in office, the PA rejected his attempts to broker peace talks with Israel, arguing that Trump was biased in favor of Israel and therefore not an “honest broker” due to his pro-Israel steps, including the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Since taking office, the Biden administration has renewed ties with the PA and had been crafting a plan aimed at “resetting” US ties with the PA.

Despite this, senior PA official Azzam al-Ahmed recently said the PA is opposed to a return to peace negotiations with Israel under the leadership of the United States.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly pushed for an international conference for peace in the Middle East, aimed at bypassing the US efforts to resume talks.

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