Israel Fears New Palestinian Uprising

Israel Fears New Palestinian UprisingIsrael Fears New Palestinian Uprising

Israel’s opposition leader on Tuesday warned that a new Palestinian uprising could be looming after a recent spate of violence and called on both sides to reduce tensions and restart peace talks.

The appeal came during a meeting in the West Bank between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Isaac Herzog, leader of the opposition Zionist Union, a rare face-to-face encounter after a more than yearlong diplomatic standstill, AP reported.

Violence has been rising between Palestinians and Israel since a firebombing attack by suspected Jewish extremists in the West Bank killed an 18-month-old toddler and his father last month.

Adding to the tension is the fate of a Palestinian detainee on hunger strike for more than 60 days. Mohammed Allan vowed to keep fasting until Israel releases him.

In a statement, the Palestinian leader, an outspoken critic of violence, affirmed his commitment to reaching a peace deal with Israel. It was Abbas’ first meeting with Herzog since Israeli elections last March.

Palestinians and Israelis have held on-again, off-again peace talks over the past two decades, and the latest round of US-brokered negotiations broke down more than a year ago with little progress.

By meeting the Israeli opposition leader Tuesday, Abbas appeared to be sending a message that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, not the Palestinians, is preventing peace efforts from resuming.