The EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, on a visit to the middle east, has stressed the need to advance peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Her meeting with Israeli leaders came as the Palestinians prepare a controversial attempt to join the UN in September and against a background of violence across the Gaza Strip border.
Ashton said “I come here to discuss how we move forward with negotiations. I believe that the changes that you’ve described and that we’ve witnessed in the neighbourhood, the changes in countries around Israel give even more momentum to the need to try to find a solution that will enable the people of Israel and the people of Palestine to live in peace together.”
Earlier the Palestinian prime minister appealed for international support for the bid to join the UN.
President Mahmoud Abbas had lobbied for EU backing, though individual member states are divided on whether or not to support the move.
Away from the diplomacy there was violence in Israel’s commercial capital Tel Aviv. Israeli police said a Palestinian man from the occupied West Bank hijacked a taxi, stabbing the driver and
going on to wound eight people outside a nightclub.