Conflicts & War

Abbas holds 1st high-level meeting with Israel since 2010

Jerusalem, Aug 30 (EFE).- Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Sunday night, the first high-level face-to-face meeting between Israeli and Palestinian officials since 2010.

“I met with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to discuss security-policy, civilian and economic issues,” Gantz said in a post on Twitter. “I told Chairman Abbas that Israel seeks to take measures that will strengthen the PA’s economy.”

“We also discussed shaping the security and economic situations in the West Bank and in Gaza,” he added.

The Palestinian National Authority’s (PNA) Minister of Civil Affairs, Hussein Al Shaykh, publicly confirmed the encounter on Twitter in which he emphasized that the two “discussed the Palestinian-Israeli relations on all aspects”.

The meeting was the first between Israeli and Palestinian leaders since 2010 when Abbas met with then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, one of multiple US attempts to revive the peace process.

Gantz and Abbas held a telephone conversation in mid-July, the first communication between the two sides through that channel since 2017, when Netanyahu and the Palestinian president spoke.

The meeting comes just after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Benet met in Washington with US President Joe Biden, who stressed the need to advance peace talks.

While Biden barely addressed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during his public statement prior to the meeting, he did say that they would be looking for ways to make progress on “peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians.”

Although Benet is a fervent opponent of the two-state solution and has shown no interest in resuming peace negotiations with the Palestinians, since taking office as prime minister in June he has spoken of strengthening the Palestinian economy, which is in a state of deep crisis.

Abbas is facing calls for his resignation amid growing protests against the PA in the West Bank. EFE

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