Senior Israeli government sources reported on Monday that the planned trilateral US-Israeli and Palestinian summit, next Monday in Jerusalem, will be dominated by deliberations on the Mecca Agreement between Hamas and Fateh and the implications of this deal on the diplomatic process.The trilateral summit will take place at David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem. The summit will include the Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, and the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. Rice is expected to arrive in the region on Saturday.
During the preparatory meeting on the summit on Tuesday, Olmert stated that the implications of this agreement have strategic and geopolitical effects which are not less important than the victory of Hamas in last year’s legislative elections, an Israeli online daily reported.
Olmert added that Israel “must calculate its policies toward the new Palestinian unity government carefully”,
The Israeli daily added that Olmert is planning to achieve the release of the abducted Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, who is being held by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza. He stated that Abbas “cannot evade his responsibility for releasing the captured soldier”.
Senior Israeli sources reported that Olmert does not intend to offer Abbas any “good-will” gestures aimed at easing the daily life of the Palestinian residents.
After Fateh and Hamas signed the Mecca unity agreement, Israel said that it is considering cutting its ties with Mahmoud Abbas. The trilateral summit comes as an effort to restart the diplomatic process.
The Israeli daily added that Olmert intends to ask Abbas about “how the relationship with the new government will be conducted”.
Olmert said that Israel is conducting a diplomatic campaign to demand that the international community insists that the Palestinian government implements the conditions of the Quartet before it becomes recognized.
The Quartet demands that the Palestinian government recognizes Israel, denounces violence and recognizes the previously signed peace deals between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
Olmert has conducted several phone calls with Rice over the last few days; he also called the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and Russian, British and German leaders.
The international campaign Israel is conducting now aims at pressuring Abbas in order to influence the platform of the new government.
Meanwhile, opposition leader in Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, stated at a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Olmert should cancel the trilateral summit in response to the Mecca agreement.