Middle East

Israel says has 'ideological' dispute with Abbas

Israeli defense minister defends his meeting with Palestinian president last week

Zain Khalil   | 12.09.2021
Israel says has 'ideological' dispute with Abbas

JERUSALEM 

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday said there is a deep ideological dispute with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Speaking at a counterterrorism conference in the coastal city of Herzliya, Gantz said despite having "a deep ideological dispute with the Palestinian Authority, both sides are interested in peace and stability," according to Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

Gantz defended his meeting with Abbas last week in the West Bank city of Ramallah, saying the Palestinian leader backs a political settlement with Israel and opposes "terrorism".

"Coordination with the Palestinian Authority and strengthening the Palestinian economy is dozens of times better than strengthening Iranian proxies on our borders,” Gantz added, without giving further clarifications.

Since April 2014, negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel have stalled due to Tel Aviv's refusal to stop settlement building, release Palestinian detainees, and evading the two-state solution.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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