oPt

Statement by Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the current situation in the Palestinian Territories

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1. The Government of Japan expresses its deep concern over the recent escalation of violence between Fatah and Hamas which brought about many Palestinian casualties and resulted in the dissolution of the National Unity Government. Such a situation not only jeopardizes the lives of ordinary Palestinian people who long for peace but curtails the hopes of those who wish to achieve the Middle East Peace based on the two-state solution.

2. The Government of Japan is also concerned that this situation would negatively affect further the efforts for early resumption of the Middle East Peace Process. The Government of Japan strongly calls on all the parties concerned to bring the violence to an end and earnestly hopes that the situation will be promptly brought under control under the leadership of President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority.

3. The Government of Japan will continue to firmly support the peace effort of President Abbas, and announced its intention to provide direct economic assistance to the Palestinians through the Office of President in order to show its support for the President's effort in a tangible manner.