In surprise visit, Gantz hosts Palestinian leader at his private residence

The two discuss security and civilian affairs, with defense minister promising to take further steps in aiding Ramallah's economic and civilian struggles; this is first time Abbas has held an official meeting within Israel since 2010
Itamar Eichner|
In a surprise visit, Defense Minister Benny Gantz hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his personal residence in the Israeli city of Rosh Haayin.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • This is the first time the Palestinian leader has held an official meeting within Israel since 2010, excluding his partaking in the funeral of former president Shimon Peres in 2016.
    1 View gallery
    בני גנץ אבו מאזן
    בני גנץ אבו מאזן
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
    (Photo: Avi Moalem, Reuters)
    "The two discussed various security and civilian issues," a statement from his office said. "The defense minister emphasized the shared interest in strengthening security coordination and maintaining stability, and preventing terrorism and violence."
    The statement also said that Gantz told Abbas that he intends to "further promote trust-building steps in the economic and civilian spheres, as the two agreed on during their last meeting."
    Also present at the meeting was attended by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Rassan Aliyan, as well as the Minister of Civil Affairs in the Palestinian Authority, Hussein al-Sheikh, who is responsible for civilian and security coordination with Israel, and Palestinian Chief of Intelligence Majed Faraj.
    Al-Sheikh said the two discussed the "importance of creating a political horizon," for the solution of the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The last round of peace talks collapsed in 2014.
    The meeting lasted about two and a half hours — partly in a broad forum and partly in private.
    Hamas, the terrorist group that rules Gaza, slammed Abbas, calling the meeting "reprehensible and condemnable."
    As previously mentioned, this is the second meeting between Gantz and Abbas, with the last one taking place at the latter's official residence in Ramallah in August.
    The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.