16 March 2006 – The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process met today in Brussels with other members of the diplomatic Quartet to discuss assistance to the Palestinian Authority.
Alvaro de Soto held working meetings with his counterparts from the European Union (EU), Russian Federation and the United States, a UN spokesman said.
Meanwhile in New York, the Security Council held closed-door consultations on the situation in the Middle East.
On Tuesday, Council members released a statement to the press expressing serious concern over the upsurge in violence in the West Bank and Gaza and calling on the parties to exercise maximum restraint and to take urgent steps to restore calm.
That statement came amid reports that Israeli forces attacked a prison compound in Jericho, taking into custody, among many other prisoners, Ahmed Saadat, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who had been accused of involvement in the 2001 murder of an Israeli minister.
This sparked violent protests on the Palestinian side during which at least seven foreigners in the West Bank and Gaza were kidnapped by militants, though several were subsequently released.