Gantz says Israel will make goodwill gestures to Palestine

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Israel will also recognise the status of thousands of Palestinians who live in the Israel-occupied West Bank without Israeli permits….reports Asian Lite News

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz announced that his country will make “goodwill gestures” to the Palestinian authority following his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Briefing reporters, Gantz said that during the meeting on Sunday night, he and Abbas agreed on a loan worth 500 million shekels ($155 million), Xinhua news agency reported.

Israel will also recognise the status of thousands of Palestinians who live in the Israel-occupied West Bank without Israeli permits.

Most of these Palestinians moved from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank after Hamas, the Islamic Palestinian group that runs the coastal enclave, seized power in 2007.

Gantz said the purpose of the meeting was to build trust between Israel and the Palestinian authority without promoting a peace deal.

“I came to the meeting to build trust, keep the Israeli interests and the important ties with the Palestinian authority,” Gantz said, adding that he believes Israel should support the Palestinian authority.

“The stronger the Palestinian authority is, the weaker Hamas will be, and the more governance it will have,” the Defence Minister added.

The meeting was the first between an Israeli minister and the Palestinian President since 2010.

Palestinian factions slammed meeting

Leaders of the Palestinian factions, including the Islamic Hamas Movement, have slammed the meeting between Palestinian President and Israeli Defence Minister.

Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Hazem Qassem said that the Sunday night meeting “would deepen the Palestinian internal division,” adding “it will encourage some parties in the region to normalise ties with Israel”, reports Xinhua news agency.

Spokesman of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Tareq Silmi said in a statement that the group rejects the meeting, adding that “it is a stab in the back of the Palestinian people who suffer and struggle against the occupation”.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian left-wing factions, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), slammed the meeting, calling on Abbas that he should resolve the internal split and regain unity “instead of meeting Israelis”.

The administration of US President Joe Biden has been pushing the two sides to go for trust-building and resume contacts in a bid to resume the peace talks.

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