I met tonight [mardi] Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. We discussed the implementation of economic and civil measures, and the importance of strengthening our security coordinationMr. Gantz wrote on Twitter shortly after his ministry announced a meeting with Mr. Abbas.
On the Palestinian side, the Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh, a close friend of Mahmoud Abbas, indicated on Twitter that this meeting had focused on issues
security, economic and humanitarian, on the
tensions linked to the activities of Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank and
the importance of creating a political horizon to come to a
solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Israeli Minister of Defense and the Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs did not specify the location of the meeting, however, according to the Israeli press, at the residence of Mr. Gantz located in Rosh Haayin, in central Israel.
Following the coming to power in June of the coalition government led by Naftali Bennett, Israeli ministers, including Benny Gantz, visited Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority. But it would be the first time since 2010 that Abbas has visited Israel for an official meeting with a member of the Israeli government.
Stalled peace negotiations
The Likud party (right) of the leader of the opposition Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister from 2009 to last June and virulent detractor of the Palestinian president, condemned in a statement this meeting Abbas-Gantz which led according to him to
concessions dangerous for Israel’s security.
The government of Naftali Bennett, moreover supported by an Arab party, a first in the history of Israel,
put Palestinians and Abbas back on the agenda and this is dangerous for Israel, added the right-wing party.
The Abbas-Gantz meeting comes less than a week after the visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who had discussed with Mahmoud Abbas about
the resumption of a significant level of economic and development assistance from the United States.
Current Israeli government says it wants to discuss ways
to improve the standard of living of the Palestinians, without however seeking to embark on a new round of talks.
Peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians have stalled since 2014. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a former leader of the procolonies movement in the West Bank, opposes the creation of a Palestinian state.