Today: Tuesday, 18 January 2022 year

Israeli defense minister, Palestinian president hold talks

Israeli defense minister, Palestinian president hold talks

The top Palestinian official Mahmoud Abbas paid a visit to Israel where he met with Defence Minister Benny Gantz. The two men had a meeting at Gantz’s home late Tuesday, according to the Israeli media.

The Israeli defence ministry said the meeting focused on various issues including security and civil matters and lasted for two and a half hours.

Two officials have discussed the wide range of the economic, security and humanitarian issues, including tensions in West Bank, AA reports.

“The stronger the Palestinian Authority is, the weaker Hamas will be,” Gantz was quoted as telling Israeli military correspondents on Monday. “And the greater its ability to govern is, the more security we’ll have and the less we’ll have to do.”

Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister al-Sheikh has commented on the meeting on his Twitter, saying Abbas and Gantz discussed the latest developments and the way of cooperation between the neighbouring nations. In particular, the two officials discussed tensions in the West Bank as a result of the actions of Israeli settlers.

On Monday, Gantz’s office confirmed that Israel had agreed to loan the Palestinian Authority 500 million shekels (USD155 mln). The money is to be repaid with tax funds that Israel normally collects for the Palestinians.

“Defence Minister Benny Gantz met with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmud Abbas [Sunday] evening to discuss security policy, civilian and economic issues,” Israel’s defence ministry said in a statement.

The meeting included the head of the Israeli military branch responsible for civil affairs in the Palestinian territories, Ghasan Alyan, senior PA official Hussein al-Sheikh and Palestinian intelligence chief Majid Faraj.