Ayelet Shaked:
'Mahmoud Abbas isn't a partner for peace, Bennett won't meet him'

'Abbas pays murderers and sues our soldiers.' After PM's meeting with Egyptian president, Interior Ministry says PA chief is beyond the pale

Hezki Baruch ,

איילת שקד
איילת שקד
צילום: רונן טופלברג

Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) said that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had ruled out meeting with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, declaring that he is not a ‘partner’ for possible peace talks.

Speaking at the International Institute For Counter-Terrorism’s annual International Conference on Counter-Terrorism Tuesday morning, Shaked decried Abbas’ policy of paying stipends to jailed Arab terrorists and the families of terrorists killed during attacks on Israelis, as well as the Palestinian Authority’s attempts to prosecute Israeli soldiers via the International Criminal Court.

“As far as Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] goes, my opinion is known and hasn’t changed. Abu Mazen pays money to terrorists who murder Jews – the more you murder, the more money you get.”

“And Abu Mazen is suing IDF soldiers and officers in The Hague, so he isn’t a partner. The Prime Minister won’t meet with him and is not planning to meet with him.”

On Monday, Prime Minister Bennett met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in the south Sinai resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh for the first meeting between the two leaders since Bennett took office.

According to a senior political source, the meeting focused on a range of regional security issues, including the Iranian nuclear threat and regional aggression, Turkey's role in the conflict in Libya, the crisis between Egypt and Ethiopia, and dealing with terrorists in the region.

The two also discussed the situation in the Gaza Strip and efforts to pressure the Hamas terrorist organization through tightened supervision at the Rafah crossing and efforts to return the Israelis held captive by Hamas.

In addition, Bennett and el-Sisi discussed economic ties between Israel and Egypt, including the expansion of the volume of trade between the two countries as well as the volume of tourism.

Prime Minister Bennett said following the meeting: "I have just finished my first visit with the President of Egypt. The meeting was very important and very good. During the meeting, first and foremost, we created an infrastructure for a deep connection to move forward."

"We discussed a range of issues in the political, security, economic, and ways to deepen the relationship and strengthen the interests of our countries.

"Israel is opening up to the countries of the region, and the basis for this long-awaited recognition is the peace between Israel and Egypt. Therefore, on both sides, we must invest in strengthening this relationship, and we did that today," Bennett concluded.



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