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Regional leaders condemn Israel's alleged role in escalating violence amid Middle East summit

Leaders from Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine have jointly criticized Israel, accusing it of exacerbating chaos and violence in east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

The leaders of Egypt and Jordan, and the Palestinian president on Monday slammed Israel, saying it was fueling chaos and violence in east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank as bloodshed surges between Israel and Palestinians.

The condemnation came at the end of a three-way summit in the northern Egyptian city of el-Alamein that brought together Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, Jordan's King Abdullah II and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The three accused Israel of a number violations against Palestinians, including what they said were incursions by Israeli soldiers at a contested holy site in east Jerusalem and illegally withholding Palestinian money.

The site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is the holiest site in Judaism. Today, it is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam. The competing claims lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel’s government did not immediately respond to the statement from the summit.


The past months have seen one of the deadliest periods in years in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. More than 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire this year in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, according to a tally by The Associated Press. Palestinians have killed 29 people on the Israeli side during that time.

Israel's new ultra nationalist government, formed last December, has adopted a hard-line approach to the Palestinians. In January, it decided to withhold $39 million from the Palestinian Authority and transfer the funds instead to a compensation program for the families of Israeli victims of Palestinian militant attacks.

During violent flare ups, Egypt, which was the first Arab country to establish diplomatic ties with Israel, has regularly acted as a peace broker between the two sides.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, along with the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Palestinians seek those territories for their hoped-for independent state.

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