Herzog and Abbas (archive)
Herzog and Abbas (archive) Labor Party spokesperson

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday phoned President Isaac Herzog to congratulate him on taking office.

“I spoke tonight with the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, who called to congratulate me upon my taking office. In my words of thanks, I emphasized that I intend to continue to maintain ongoing contact with him, as previous Israeli presidents have done. All this in the hope of helping to promote relations and the hope for peace between the two peoples living neighborly side by side,” tweeted Herzog.

Reporting on the call, the PA’s Wafa news agency said that Abbas stressed “the need to achieve a comprehensive truce in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Jerusalem.”

Abbas “affirmed the need to exert practical measures on the ground that would establish political climates to achieve a just and comprehensive peace,” the report said.

The PA chairman last week called former President Reuven Rivlin ahead of his departure from office.

Abbas expressed during the phone call a hope to achieve peace between the two sides as soon as possible. Rivlin thanked Abbas for his call.

During his recent visit to the United States, Rivlin took part in a United Nations luncheon in which he said that Israel and the Palestinian Arabs must put the past behind them in order to coexist in peace.

Rivlin addressed Abbas directly in his comments, saying, “We must forget the past, once and forever. We were not doomed to live together between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. We were destined to live together. That is our only hope for ending this conflict. The State of Israel is here to stay, in eternity. Let us build trust between the peoples, let us return to talking about the future and let us aim for a brighter and better future for our peoples.”

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