Middle East Monitor / December 29, 2021
Palestinian factions have condemned Tuesday’s meeting between President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Defence Minister, Benny Gantz, near Tel Aviv, Anadolu News Agency reports.
Palestinian officials said the meeting dwelt on the importance of “creating a political horizon that leads to a political solution” in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions.
In a statement on Wednesday, Hamas group said the Abbas-Gantz meeting was held on the 13th anniversary of the 2008 Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.
“This meeting provokes the people, who are subjected on a daily basis to an unjust blockade in Gaza, and an aggressive escalation targeting their land, national rights and holy sites in the West Bank and Jerusalem,” it said.
Islamic Jihad group decried the meeting as a “dangerous deviation from national consensus.”
The movement said the meeting “came at a time when our people are facing terrorist attacks led by the Israeli extreme right, and implemented by the army under Gantz’s instructions.”
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) group said the meeting “contradicted national positions and demands.”
“The Palestinian Authority is still betting on negotiations as the only way to resolve the conflict,” PFLP said, noting that this step would “disrupt Palestinian and Arab efforts to restore unity and mobilize the people to resist the schemes aimed at liquidating the cause.”
The Popular Resistance Committees, for its part, denounced the meeting as a “national crime.”
“The Palestinian Authority’s continued bet on negotiations and peace with the Zionist enemy, which practices the most heinous fascist crimes against the Palestinian people, is an attempt to sell out illusions again.”
Tuesday’s meeting was the second between Abbas and Gantz, as they met on 30 August, in the West Bank city of Ramallah. At that time, the Israeli government said that the meeting discussed security issues and did not touch upon any political files.
Political talks between the Palestinians and Israel have collapsed since 2014, due to Israel’s refusal to stop building settlements and its non-acceptance of the “two-state solution”.