Gantz defends his meeting with Abbas, and the Israeli right denounces

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz defended, this evening, Wednesday, his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, saying that those responsible for sending soldiers to battle know the depth of the commitment to prevent this.

This came in a tweet he posted on Twitter in response to criticism of him by right-wing parties in the government coalition.

“Only those responsible for sending soldiers into battle know the depth of the obligation to prevent this. This is how I have always worked, and this is how I will work,” Gantz said, referring to an attempt to prevent a deterioration in the security situation in the occupied West Bank.

Yesterday evening, Tuesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz at his home, and Israel said that Abbas confirmed the continuation of security coordination and the pursuit of the resistance in the West Bank, at a time when both the resistance factions and the hard-line Israeli right-wing parties denounced the meeting.

Gantz was criticized by the right-wing parties in the government coalition (Reuters)

political horizon

Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh said that the president and Gantz discussed the importance of finding “a political horizon that leads to a political solution, in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions.”

The Sheikh added – in a tweet on Twitter – that the two sides also discussed “the tense field conditions, due to the practices and attacks of the settlers, as well as many security, economic and humanitarian issues.”

According to a statement issued by the office of the Israeli Defense Minister, the meeting lasted two hours and discussed various security, civil and economic issues, and “maintaining security stability and preventing terrorism and violence.”

Gantz told Abbas that he intends to continue to strengthen confidence-building measures and work to strengthen security coordination, according to the statement.

Well-informed Israeli sources confirmed that the meeting took place at Gantz’s home in the Ras al-Ain area near Tel Aviv.

Mahmoud AbbasMahmoud Abbas met Gantz and discussed with him the security situation (Al-Jazeera)

security coordination

For its part, the official Israeli Broadcasting Corporation said that Abbas assured Gantz that the Palestinian security services would continue to pursue the resistance in Jenin and the West Bank, and also confirmed his knowledge of Hamas and Islamic Jihad’s plans to ignite the West Bank, she said.

The Israeli Broadcasting Corporation added that Abbas assured Gantz that security coordination cannot be waived under any circumstances, and that his authority controls the situation.

This meeting comes about 4 months after their meeting in the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, when the meeting discussed “routine” security issues.

condemnation from both sides

For its part, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) denounced the meeting, and considered it deepening the Palestinian division and encouraging the parties in the region to normalize.

Earlier, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said that the meeting was “rejected and deviated from the national spirit of our Palestinian people.”

Qassem considered that the coincidence of the meeting with the settlers’ attack on civilians in the West Bank constitutes a stab at the intifada in the West Bank, as he described it.

“The behavior of the PA leadership deepens the internal division, encourages some parties in the region that want to be normalized with the occupation, and weakens the Palestinian position that rejects normalization,” he added.

As part of the Palestinian reactions to Gantz’s meeting with Abbas, the Islamic Jihad movement condemned this meeting and stressed that it perpetuates the functional role of the authority, which is looking for solutions to get out of its crises, inability and failure at the expense of the people’s interests, as it put it.

In turn, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine described the meeting between Abbas and Gantz as a “bet on a mirage” and a disruption of unity efforts. And it considered – in a statement – that the meeting, which took place yesterday in Tel Aviv, was “a perpetuation of illusion, a bet on the mirage, and a denial of the blood of the martyrs.”

As for Fatah, it defended the meeting with the president and the Israeli defense minister, and considered it a serious attempt to put an end to the escalatory practices against the Palestinian people, and to open a political path based on international legitimacy.

On the other hand, the hard-line Israeli right-wing parties – led by Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party – denounced the Abbas-Gantz meeting, describing it as offensive to Jews.

The Likud party said – in a statement – that “dangerous concessions to Israel’s security are only a matter of time.”

“The Israeli-Palestinian government of Bennett is bringing Abu Mazen and the Palestinians back on the agenda,” he added, considering that this government “poses a danger to Israel.”

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