Joint List Slams Negev Summit for Deepening the Occupation

The foreign ministers of Bahrain, the UAE, Morocco, and Egypt landed on Sunday evening in Israel ahead of a landmark regional summit in the southern Negev Desert, where they were joined by their Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived later in the evening at the Kedma hotel for the summit after landing in Israel on Saturday night.

An official close to Lapid told journalists that the Israeli top diplomat and the Arab dignitaries were discussing “advancing a regional security architecture.” The alliance will deal with threats by “air, sea, and piracy,” the official said at a briefing.

The meeting of foreign ministers is taking place less than a week after Bennett traveled to the Sinai resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh for the first-ever trilateral summit with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah a-Sissi and UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan 

The Joint List denounced Israel’s desert summit for not only ignoring Palestinians, but also for “deepening the occupation.” “The summit convening today in the Negev is not a peace summit, but another step in realizing the strategic goal of the Israeli government – pushing the Palestinian issue to the bottom of the agenda,” it said in a statement.

The political alliance also drew attention to the summit’s convening in the Negev region, “where the government destroys houses and dispossesses the Bedouin Arabs of their land on a daily basis.”