Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid met on Sunday with senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official Hussein Al-Sheikh.

Al-Sheikh, who is in charge of the coordination with Israel and is close to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, wrote on Twitter, "We will announce another 500 families who will receive a Palestinian identity card."

After the meeting, the senior PA official said, "I stressed to Lapid the vital need for the existence of political horizons between the parties, based on international legitimacy."

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was informed in advance of the meeting which was held in Israel. Defense Minister Benny Gantz was also updated on the meeting between the two shortly before it began.

Lapid's office said, "We do not comment on meetings held by the Foreign Minister."

Earlier this month, Lapid said that he would meet Abbas if there were justification for such a meeting.

"This government was formed with a clear statement that on the one hand there will be no diplomatic negotiations, and on the other hand it will not take any step that will interfere with a future possibility that there will be such negotiations and we are meeting both conditions," he explained.

At the same time, Lapid clarified he had no intention of meeting with Abbas in the foreseeable future. "It's not on the agenda. I do not rule out a meeting with him, but there is no reason for such a meeting at the moment. If there is a political justification I have no problem meeting with him, but there is no such justification."

"I maintain contact with Palestinian Authority officials on a working level. The State of Israel promotes excellent cooperation with them at the security and civilian level. This is the most I can achieve with the current coalition and the world accepts it. The Palestinians make calls for peace but then run to international bodies and try to harm us. There is no point in me deluding the world that there is something here that cannot exist in this government. We want to maintain the trust that is an asset at the political level," he added.

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