Hardline Israeli Politicians, Palestinian Groups Blast Top-Level Bilateral Meeting

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (Photo: Mahmoud Abbas Facebook Page)

The high-level meeting between Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has prompted outrage from both Israeli lawmakers and Palestinian political movement Hamas, which termed it a “betrayal of martyr blood.”

In the first such talks in over a decade, Gantz and Abbas met on Sunday evening in the West Bank city of Ramallah to discuss a range of issues. But right-wing Israeli politicians expressed anger with Gantz over meeting with Abbas.

Similarly, a number of Palestinian groups denounced the PA leader for meeting with Gantz, who was labeled “the criminal Zionist minister of war.” Prior to entering politics, Gantz had been a chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

In a statement, Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif Qanou condemned the meeting as a “stab in the back of the Palestinian people and their sacrifices,” and added that it was a “betrayal of the blood of the shahids [martyrs].”

“Abbas continues the series of concessions with regard to the [Palestinian] national existence and tries to beautify the face of the occupation,” Qanou said, noting that the meeting was proof of the PA’s decline and “abandonment of national values.”

Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri called the meeting a “dangerous development” that proved the PA’s “contempt for Palestinian blood” and “disregard for Palestinian interests” in favor of maintaining its “high level of security cooperation with the occupation.”

The meeting – during which “security policy, civilian and economic issues” were on the agenda – drew strong condemnation from other Palestinian factions, including the Palestine Liberation Organization-backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which called it a “continuation of the policy of compromising Palestinian rights.”

Describing it as a “futile negotiation,” senior PFLP official Eyad Awadallah said, “This meeting comes within the framework of consolidating the security and economic solution by offering more economic bribes in return for preserving the security of the settlers and the occupation.”

(RT, PC, Social Media)

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