Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Wednesday that he met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to strengthen economic and security ties, Israeli media reported.
The meeting, their second since Abbas hosted Gantz in August in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, was held late on Tuesday at Gantz’s home in Israel, Israel’s public broadcaster Kan reported, the first such trip for Abbas in more than a decade.
Palestinian factions condemn Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ meeting with Israel's Defence Minister Benny Gantz in a joint statement pic.twitter.com/VZ5QaE1BtZ
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) December 29, 2021
Palestinian official Hussein Al-Sheikh said the two discussed the “importance of creating a political horizon,” for the solution of the decades-old Israel-Palestine conflict, which has seen Tel Aviv maintain an illegal occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and blockade of Gaza. The last round of talks collapsed in 2014.
“We discussed the implementation of economic and civilian measures, and emphasized the importance of deepening security coordination and preventing terror and violence – for the well-being of both Israelis and Palestinians,” Gantz said on Twitter.
We @MRN1SA are not surprised. Abbas has always been an ENEMY of Palestinians
Hamas condemns a meeting between Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli minister of military affairs, Benny Gantz, as "a dagger in the back of the intifada (uprising)" in the West Bank. https://t.co/GXTaARfWuj
— Media Review Network (@MRN1SA) December 29, 2021
Palestinians have limited self-rule in parts of the West Bank, though in practice Israel frequently violates this arrangement.
Though Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, since 2007 it has maintained a crushing blockade on the Strip, which is now controlled by Palestinian resistance movement Hamas , which firmly condemned the Abbas-Gantz talks.
In May, Israel launched a deadly 11-day bombing campaign against Gaza, killing around 266 Palestinians. Meanwhile, rocket fire from Hamas and other Gaza militants killed 13 people in Israel.
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)