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GENEVA, July 31, /ITAR-TASS/. Switzerland has started informal consultations for a possibility to hold a Middle East peace conference following a request from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday, July 30.
On July 5, Abbas filed a corresponding request to Switzerland, the depositary of the Geneva Conventions.
“A broad consensus is indispensable to hold the conference,” the Swiss ministry said.
In April the Swiss government approved Palestine’s request for joining four Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War Victims and Additional Protocol I.
Abbas' request was prompted by the latest eruption of hostilities in Gaza. More than 1,300 Palestinians have been killed.
Israeli-Palestinian relations grew sour after June 12, 2014, when three Jewish teenagers were abducted in the West Bank. Later the teenagers were found killed. Israel accused militants of Palestinian Islamist group Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement), which controls the Gaza Strip, of committing the crime.
On July 8, 2014, the Israel Defense Forces announced the start of the operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip against Hamas militants.