Netanyahu invites Abbas 'any day this week'

After Abbas claims he would come if PM invites him, Netanyahu calls his bluff: 'I've cleared my schedule this week. Any day he can come.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Binyamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Abbas
Binyamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday said he was waiting for a visit by Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, after the latter said he had already proposed such a meeting.

"A few days ago, on Israeli television, I heard president Abbas say that if I invite him to meet, he'll come," Netanyahu told reporters at a meeting with visiting Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek.

"I'm inviting him again," he said in English. "I've cleared my schedule this week. Any day he can come, I'll be here."

Netanyahu's comments come after President Reuven Rivlin also said Monday he is ready to meet with Abbas.

In an interview with Channel 2 last Thursday, Abbas said that he was ready to meet Netanyahu "any time."

US-backed peace talks between the PA and Israel were torpedoed by the PA in April 2014, after Abbas signed a unity deal with Hamas.

Netanyahu and Abbas shook hands at a climate summit in Paris in November, but held no significant talks. Netanyahu has repeatedly said he is open to talk with Abbas, but that the PA chairman is refusing to talk.

The last substantial and public meeting between them is thought to date back to 2010, though there have been unconfirmed reports of secret meetings since then.

Netanyahu on Monday said that if the two met he would discuss the wave of Arab terror which has claimed the lives of 34 victims since last September.

"We have a lot of things to discuss, but the first item is ending the Palestinian campaign of incitement to murder Israelis," he said.

AFP contributed to this report.