The Quartet of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia issued a joint statement on the violence in the Middle East after meeting in Vienna today — which calls on the Israelis to fulfill their responsibilities, but neglects to call out the Palestinians.
“The Quartet expresses grave concern over the continuing escalation of tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. The Quartet condemns all acts of terror and violence against civilians,” said the statement. “Underscoring the urgent need to restore calm the Quartet reiterates its call for maximum restraint and avoidance of provocative rhetoric and actions.”
The Quartet “encourages Israel to work together with Jordan to uphold the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem in both word and practice, recognizing the special role of Jordan as per its peace treaty with Israel.”
“Recalling its previous statements and relevant UN Security Council resolutions and recognizing that security measures alone cannot stop the cycle of violence, the Quartet calls for significant steps to be taken, consistent with the transition contemplated by prior agreements, in order to restore confidence and hope in the viability of a negotiated two-state solution that resolves the final status issues, including that of Jerusalem, and ends the occupation that began in 1967.”
They said envoys will travel to the region “in an effort to stabilize the situation and to assure and actively support a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met yesterday with European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, who represents the EU in the Quartet.
Before their meeting, Netanyahu lauded Mogherini for “a sense of fairness from Europe to the predicament that Israel faces, a democracy fighting terrorism and incitement.”
“A lot of this terrorism, virtually all of it, is driven by incitement from Hamas, from the Islamic Movement in Israel, and I regret to say, from the Palestinian Authority,” Netanyahu said. “And I think if we want to have any hope, we have to stop terrorism. If we want to stop terrorism, we have to stop the incitement.”