The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, met on Tuesday night with Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Gantz to discuss security issues on his first trip to Israel since he attended the funeral of the former prime minister and former Israeli president in 2016 Shimon Peres, and in the first job that has been produced in eleven years.
Gantz received the president of the Palestinian Authority at his home on Rosh HaAyin, in the west of the central district of Israel, to discuss civil and security issues in a meeting that lasted approximately two and a half hours, according to the Israeli newspaper ‘The Times of Israel’.
“Tonight I met with the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.
We discuss the application of economic and civil measures, we emphasize the importance of deepening coordination for security and the prevention of terrorism and violence, for the well-being of both Israelis and Palestinians, “Gantz himself wrote on his official Twitter profile. .
On the other hand, the Palestinian head of relations with Israel, Hussein al Sheikh, stated on his official Twitter profile that the meeting had also discussed “the tense situation due to the practices of the settlers”, as well as “questions of security, economic and humanitarian ”. He also reiterated that the objective of the meeting was “to create a political horizon that leads to a political solution in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy.”
Grants and permits
After the meeting, Gantz announced a series of measures by the Israeli Government, including the delivery of 100 million shekels (about 28.5 million euros) of funds raised by Israel on behalf of Ramallah to reduce the Palestinian deficit, given the economic crisis in which the Occupied Palestinian Territories are plunged.
He also assured that he will legalize the status of 9,500 Palestinians and foreigners living without papers in the West Bank and Gaza, many of whom came to the territories to marry Palestinian citizens, although Israel does not recognize this family unification, reports Ep.
The Defense Minister also stated that Israel will deliver dozens of VIP permits to senior Palestinian officials to cross Israeli checkpoints, while about 1,100 Palestinian businessmen will have trade passes to facilitate their movements.
Official Israeli sources cited by ‘The Times of Israel’ have added that Gantz has informed Abbas that economic measures are being considered, including lowering taxes for the purchase of fuel and a pilot program to allow the delivery of goods in the West Bank to across the border with Jordan.
Israel’s Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, has refused to reopen peace negotiations with the Palestinians and has refused to meet with Abbas, although his Executive has promised to support the Palestinian Authority in the face of the economic and political crisis, with Gantz at the fore. of these efforts.
Thus, in the second meeting between the two since the formation of the new Israeli Government in June, Gantz underlined the mutual interest in strengthening cooperation in security matters and conveyed to Abás his intention to continue advancing in building confidence in civilian spheres. and economic.
The first meeting between Abás and Gantz took place in August in the city of Ramallah, in the West Bank, a meeting in which they discussed issues of mutual interest, such as security in the region, and possible gestures were raised.
“Neither we nor the Palestinians are going anywhere tomorrow,” Gantz told reporters at the time, suggesting that it was still necessary for the two sides to regain their lost trust. The minister opted for strengthening ties with Abbas on the premise that this could end up weakening Hamas.
The last face-to-face talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders took place in 2010, at the beginning of the second term of now-former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, the relationship between ‘Bibi’ and Abás became strained as the peace process stalled.