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Kadima MKs Meet in Ramallah with PA's Abbas, PLO Secy-Gen

A group of Israeli lawmakers traveled to the Palestinian Authority capital of Ramallah Sunday to meet with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 10/14/2012, 4:53 PM

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

A group of Israeli lawmakers traveled to the Palestinian Authority capital of Ramallah Sunday to meet with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The delegation was comprised of four Knesset members from the Kadima party. MKs Orit Zuarets, Shlomo Molla, Akram Hasson and Nino Abesadze also met with Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabo.

The meeting took place in the Palestinian Authority government headquarters, the Muqata, where Abbas's office is located.

Zuarets explained the lawmakers had made the trip because “especially now” – due to the current deadlock in talks, and with new Israeli elections on the horizon -- it was “important to highlight that we must not ignore the conflict between us and the Palestinians.”

It is not clear whether the group was representing the party, themselves, or a back-channel effort by Israeli government. Arutz Sheva was unable to reach Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's spokesman Mark Regev for comment, although efforts to gain clarity and a reaction about the visit were made both by telephone and by SMS text.

According to a poll published Friday in the Yisrael Hayom daily newspaper, Kadima would sink from its current 28 Knesset seats to a mere seven seats in the next elections.

Netanyahu's Likud would win 29 Knesset seats, and Labor would take 20 mandates, followed by the Yisrael Beytenu party, with 15. Yair Lapid's new “Yesh Atid” (“There's a Future”) party would garner 13 seats, followed by the Sephardic hareidi religious Shas party, with 11 mandates. Defense Minister Ehud Barak's current five-member Atzma'ut faction, which broke away from Labor, would not meet the minimum for representation in the Knesset.

Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter, who recently bolted from Kadima, is scheduled to meet with Likud Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday to discuss his candidacy in that party.