Israel, Palestinians Meet to Reduce Tensions

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -
An Israeli policeman stands looking over the flashpoint Arab village of Issawiya on Wednesday. Palestinian youths have been attacking Israeli police in this area on an almost daily basis. (AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images)
An Israeli policeman stands looking over the flashpoint Arab village of Issawiya on Wednesday. Palestinian youths have been attacking Israeli police in this area on an almost daily basis. (AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images)

Israeli and Palestinian officials have met in attempt to head off a feared escalation in the wave of violence that has gripped the country in recent weeks.

Israeli officials were reportedly conciliatory, stressing that they will refrain from taking tough security measures, conditions permitting, and reiterated statements by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the government has no intention of changing the status quo on Har Habayis, according to The Times of Israel.

A senior Palestinian official said that the meeting was positive and that it was clear that the Israeli security establishment is interested in calming the situation, but they still had their doubts about Israeli political leaders.

The PA responded in a conciliatory tone, encouraging calm, but those present warned that they would retaliate to so-called Israeli provocations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and elsewhere.

Central Command head Nitzan Alon and Civil Administration chief David Menahem, among others, met with Palestinian officials, including Palestinian Authority security chief Ziad al-Barih, intelligence chief Majid Faraj, and Palestinian police chief Hazem Atallah.

Meanwhile, security forces on Wednesday made a pre-dawn raid thwarting an Islamic Jihad terror attack on Israeli soldiers and civilians, in Burkin, near Jenin. A cache of assault weapons and ammunition were found in the possession of the head of the Islamic Jihad-linked cell, who was taken into custody.

In addition, 10 IDF uniforms and three military vests were seized in the raid, evidence of a plan to go in disguise in an attack on road junctions and military posts.