PA leader meets with heads of Balad party

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas met with members of the Israeli Arab Balad party to discuss ways to help Palestinians achieve political goals.

Dalit Halevi,

Mahmoud Abbas, Saeb Erekat
Mahmoud Abbas, Saeb Erekat
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas is continuing a series of meetings with prominent members of the Israeli left and the Israeli Arab sector.

Abbas met Monday in Ramallah with a delegation from the Balad party (a faction of the Joint Arab List) headed by party secretary Dr. Matenes Shehade.

The Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that Abbas updated the Israeli party members regarding developments in the Palestinian and international arenas and expressed his great admiration for Palestinians living in the "'48 lands", a reference to Israel. He emphasized the importance of their role in strengthening the mutual bond between Arabs and promoting the possibility of peace.

The Israeli delegation presented the conditions with which "our people on the '48 lands" are dealing with as well as developments in the Israeli arena. The delegation included the deputy president of the party, Youssuf Tator, MK Jamal Zahalka, Balad Central Committee director Juma'a Zabarka and senior members of the political bureau and the Central Committee.

The General Secretary of the PLO, Saeb Arekat, participated in the meeting a well as members of the PLO Action Committee, members of the Fatah central committee and the director of the Committee for Establishing Relations with the Israeli Public, Mohammed Al-Medani.

The PLO has recently decided to strengthen ties with Israeli officials who can help the Palestinian Authority achieve its political goals. To this end it is conducting meetings with left-wing Israeli leaders and the Israeli-Arab leadership described by them as "Palestinians".