Meretz meets with Abbas in Ramallah

PA chairman on resumption of negotiations: 'I met with Trump's emissaries to Middle East about 20 times since beginning of his term.'

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Mordechai Sones,

Meretz's Zahava Gal-on
Meretz's Zahava Gal-on
Flash 90

A delegation of the far left Meretz party met Sunday in Ramallah with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The meeting was attended by MKs Zehava Gal-On and Issawi Freij, Meretz Party secretary-general Mosi Raz and former ambassador Ilan Baruch, who currently advises the Meretz party.

During the meeting, Abbas referred to US efforts to promote political negotiations between the PA and Israel: "I have met with Trump's emissaries to the Middle East about 20 times since the beginning of his term. Every time they reiterated to me how much they believed and were committed to the two-state solution and to the cessation of settlement construction."

"I urged them to say the same thing to Netanyahu, but they are deterred; It's not certain what this indicates regarding continuation of the negotiations or the possible ramifications for their upcoming visit. I can not understand how they are dealing with us, because within his nation, the administration is in chaos," he said.

Abbas also claimed that since the attack on the Temple Mount, in which two policemen were murdered, security cooperation between Israel and the PA has been halted. "We recently approached them to try to return to some kind of cooperation, but they did not give me an answer, which prevented the relationship from progressing. As long as there is no connection, we make sure to update the Americans on any progress or change."

"Although there is currently no security cooperation between the PA and Israel, we have doubled our supervision of the area after the attack, in order to prevent conflict as much as possible," he said.

"The defense establishment in Israel always says 'Abbas is a partner,' unlike the Prime Minister of Israel, and we have better cooperation with them than we do with the government," said the chairman of the PA ominously.

Meretz Chairman MK Zahava Gal-On expressed her concern over the electricity crisis in Gaza caused by Abbas. "Of course I do not support Hamas or the government it established, but there is a feeling that the choice to punish the entire Gazan people by cutting off electricity is an incorrect and illegitimate step at this time. We must find another way to disarm Hamas without harming civilians."

In response, Abbas said, "Every year we transfer $1.5 billion, but after Hamas declared its own government, we stopped 25 percent of our support in the Gaza Strip, and we are afraid that if there is no change soon, we will also stop 100% of our support for the Gaza Strip, gradually.

"We perceive Hamas activities as an attempt to drive a wedge between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and this is a move that expresses a lack of political trust in the Palestinian leadership, it is more than a moral or political issue," he explained.