Starting from: 12/29/2021 1:05 PM

For the first time in years, a representative of the Israeli government received President Abbas. Defense Minister Gantz met him at his private home to discuss improving cooperation.

Written by Benjamin Hammer, ARD-Studio Tel Aviv

There are no official photos from the appointment. There was no red carpet, no wind difference: the meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz took place in secret. But this is nothing short of wonderful. exactly the contrary. Gantz even invited Abbas to his private home in central Israel.

Benjamin Hammer
ARD-Studio Tel Aviv

Conversations about the economy and security

This was Abbas’s first official appointment to Israel in ten years. And only the second high-level meeting in a long time. The talks were about the economy and security. Following the meeting, the Israeli government announced its recognition of the residence of 10,000 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israel also wants to provide a financial boost to Abbas’s Palestinian Authority. It is about the taxes that Israel imposes on the Palestinians. The Autonomous Authority is under enormous pressure both financially and also towards its inhabitants. Israel works with it and depends on this cooperation. That is why Israel wants to strengthen Abbas, also in the face of its rival, Hamas.

The meeting between Gantz and Abbas is believed to have been approved by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. He had announced that he wanted to reduce the points of friction in the conflict with the Palestinians. However, Bennett strongly rejects the creation of a separate and sovereign Palestinian state.

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Also criticism from government partners

Some members of the new Israeli government criticized the meeting. Ze’ev Elkin, minister of the national liberal New Hope party, spoke to radio station 103FM. He pointed out that the Palestinian Authority pays pensions to Palestinian prisoners and their families. “I will not invite anyone to my house who pays salaries to Israeli killers and wants to bring high-ranking IDF officers to the ICC prison, including Gantz himself.”

Other members defended the meeting. A close associate of the Palestinian president also protested the Palestinian criticism, such as Hamas. He said this meeting was the last chance to prevent an explosion in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

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