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Middle East Quartet in Jerusalem to advance two-state solution

March 30, 2016 7:54 P.M. (Updated: March 31, 2016 2:05 P.M.)
Israeli forces take position on the roof of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City during clashes with Palestinians on Sept. 28, 2015. (AFP/Thomas Coex, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Middle East Quartet envoys arrived this week to Jerusalem to discuss a forthcoming report intended to advance the two-state solution, the Quartet said Wednesday.

The Quartet in a statement said the envoys reached Jerusalem on Monday to hold discussions with Palestinian and Israeli officials in anticipation of preparation of the report.

Envoys met with officials from the PLO, Palestinian Authority, Israeli Prime Minister's’ office, and Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Quartet decided last month that a report covering the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel was necessary in efforts to halt a “cycle of escalation” of violence in the area.

After meeting in Oslo, officials party to the Quartet discussed their “serious concern” of the potential direction of the peace process if changes weren’t made to the “status quo.”

The Quartet at the time said the report would include “recommendations that can help inform international discussions on the best way to advance the two-state solution.”

Condemnations were launched from the group for “all acts of terror,” as well as “continued acts of violence against civilians, ongoing settlement activity, and the high rate of demolitions of Palestinian structures” the group said was imperiling the two-state solution.

Middle East Quartet envoys visited Jerusalem and Ramallah in December to discuss concrete moves towards resolving the escalation in violence that increased in October, but appeared to leave empty handed.

The Quartet -- established in 2002 to mediate the peace process -- is one of several international actors who have attempted to weigh in on ongoing violence in the occupied Palestinian territory but have ceded little more than verbal condemnations of both Israeli and Palestinian leadership.

Successive attempts at peace negotiations between Palestinian leadership over the decades are largely seen by the Palestinian public as having failed to bring Palestinians any closer to an independent state, with many believing the talks have instead prolonged the Israeli military occupation.
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