Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday spoke on the phone with outgoing President Reuven Rivlin, according to a statement released by Abbas' office in Ramallah.
“During the phone call, the president expressed his hope that peace between the two sides would be achieved as soon as possible,” the statement said, adding that Rivlin thanked Abbas for the call.
Rivlin's seven-year term as president will end on July 7 when Isaac Herzog is sworn in at Knesset as the 11th president of the Jewish state.
During a recent farewell tour of the United States, Rivlin appealed to Abbas to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"We are not condemned to live together, we are destined to live together," Rivlin said speaking to diplomats at United Nations headquarters in New York.
"It is up to us to end the conflict. Let us forget the past. Let us build confidence. There are possibilities to ensure a bright future for our people," he said.
It is not clear, however, how much sway Abbas has over the Palestinian people in terms of making peace with Israel as a recent poll suggested a dramatic surge in Palestinian support for Hamas following last month’s Gaza war which corresponded with a steep decline in support for Abbas.
The poll found that 53% of Palestinians believe Hamas is “most deserving of representing and leading the Palestinian people,” while only 14% prefer Abbas’ secular Fatah party.
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.