Gantz and Abbas meet in the West Bank to address security in the region

This is the first high-level meeting between the parties in almost a decade


The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Israeli Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, have met in the city of Ramallah, in the West Bank, in a meeting in which they have addressed issues of mutual interest, such as security in the region, and possible gestures have been raised.

As Gantz’s office reported in a statement on Monday, this is the first high-level meeting that the parties have held for almost a decade.

“Gantz has conveyed to Abbas that Israel is prepared to take a series of measures that will improve the economy of the Palestinian Authority,” the text states, which states that both have exchanged views, in turn, on the “civil reality” of Palestinians and Israelis.

In practical terms, Gantz would have put on the table a loan of 500 million shequels (about 132 million euros), the regularization of the status of thousands of undocumented Palestinians in the West Bank or the simplification of the VAT registration for Palestinian companies that buy from Israel.

“Neither we nor the Palestinians are going anywhere tomorrow,” Gantz told reporters, suggesting that the two sides still need to regain their lost trust. The minister has opted to strengthen ties with Abbas on the premise that this could end up weakening Hamas.

A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, has indicated that Gantz and Abbas have discussed “all aspects of relations between Israel and Palestine”, in addition to having agreed to remain in contact to delve into various issues, such as the economic situation. that runs through the area.

The meeting came shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett returned from a trip to the United States, where he met with President Joe Biden. According to sources in his environment cited by ‘The Jerusalem Post’, he gave his approval to Gantz’s gesture.

Bennett has promised that he will try to improve the economic situation of the Palestinian Authority, although he has ruled out working to establish an independent Palestinian state.

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 Abbas became strained as the peace process stalled.

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