An Israeli-Palestinian summit was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, but it was cancelled after Israeli authorities announced the formation of a new government headed by a former minister of finance and finance minister.
The decision to cancel the meeting came just days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a freeze on construction of new Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The ministers were set to meet with Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Culture Minister Miri Regev.
The meeting came amid heightened tensions between the two sides.
The leaders of the two major parties, with the support of the ultra-nationalist Likud party, have made building settlements in disputed areas a central part of their policies.
A week ago, Netanyahu said that “there will be no compromise with terrorists,” adding that “if the Israeli government does not act to protect Jerusalem and the Temple Mount from the onslaught of the Islamic State, it will lose all credibility and all legitimacy in the world.”
The announcement was widely interpreted as a veiled reference to the planned Israeli government construction of a Jewish settlement on the disputed land, which the Palestinians claim as their capital.
According to a statement released by the prime minister’s office, Lapid and Ya’alon will meet with Netanyahu on Wednesday and will discuss issues relating to security, economic growth, tourism, security cooperation and the Palestinian refugee issue.
“The new government will work to make the settlements and the settlements infrastructure work in the way that they are supposed to,” the statement said.
“We hope the two leaders can find a common ground on the issue of settlements and Jerusalem.”
The meeting comes just days before Netanyahu and other members of his coalition government are expected to announce plans to convene an emergency meeting of the Security Council to discuss the status of the Temple, which is located on the Old City, the holiest site in Judaism and Islam.
The United States, Russia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom have all expressed their concerns over the move.
The council has been considering a proposal to impose sanctions on Iran and North Korea, which would be effective immediately, if it is adopted.
The Security Council resolution calls for the “immediate withdrawal” of all Israeli settlements and their infrastructure from the occupied Palestinian territory.
It also calls for an immediate end to construction of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land and a freeze of construction in Jerusalem, which Israel considers the capital of its future state.
According the UN, more than 4,000 Israeli settlements have been built in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967, and many of them are built on Palestinian lands.