Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (center-left) meets with Meretz ministers Nitzan Horowitz (left) and Isawi Frej (center-right) in Ramallah on Sunday

Palestinian president hosts Israeli ministers in West Bank

Health Minister Horowitz says his Meretz party's role in gov't is to 'keep two-state solution alive'; Abbas invites all other coalition members to Ramallah; Interior Minister Shaked flatly rejects, stresses she will not meet with 'Holocaust denier'

Associated Press |
Published: 10.04.21, 09:06
The Palestinian president hosted two Israeli Cabinet ministers for a late-night meeting Sunday, in a new sign of slowly improving ties between the sides.
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  • Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and Regional Cooperation Minister Iswai Frej were the second group of Cabinet members to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas since the new Israeli government took office in June. Meretz's Knesset faction leader Michal Rozin also attended the meeting.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    פגישת בכירי מרצ עם אבו מאזן ברמאללה
    פגישת בכירי מרצ עם אבו מאזן ברמאללה
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (center-left) meets with Meretz ministers Nitzan Horowitz (left) and Isawi Frej (center-right) in Ramallah on Sunday
    (Photo: Meretz)
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz also met with Abbas at his West Bank headquarters in August.
    Horowitz said his left-wing party Meretz was working to "keep the two-state solution alive" within the current government.
    "Do not let it disappear, and do not sabotage the chance of reaching it in the future, because there is no other solution," he said.
    Abbas appeared to acknowledge this, saying he was prepared to meet with all members of the coalition, inviting them to Ramallah.
    "We must begin to create confidence-building measures, to prove that we intend to make peace, and to enable me to protect the hope of the Palestinian people. If we lose hope, we lose the future," a statement by Meretz quoted Abbas as saying.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    פגישת בכירי מרצ עם אבו מאזן ברמאללה
    פגישת בכירי מרצ עם אבו מאזן ברמאללה
    Meretz ministers, including Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah
    "You don’t have to agree, you have to talk," Abbas said.
    He specifically mentioned his interest in speaking with Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, who flatly rejected the proposal on Twitter, saying she would not meet with "a Holocaust denier who is suing Israel soldiers at The Hague and paying murderers of Jews."
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has said recently he has no plans to meet with the Palestinian leader.
    Abbas' autonomy government seeks the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem - territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.

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