Mahmoud al-Habbash, adviser to the Palestinian president, stressed that the Palestinian Authority made no concessions during the meeting that brought together Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Tuesday.
He added, in a statement to Al-Arabiya / Al-Hadath on Wednesday that what was achieved by the Abbas-Gantz meeting is in the interest of the Palestinians, as he said.
He also continued that the authority offered no political price in exchange of what he received from the meeting.
After the meeting, Gantz approved a series of initiatives aimed at improving relations with the Palestinians, including the release of some funds and the granting of residence and work permits.
Israel’s defense minister’s office also indicated, the Associated Press reported Wednesday, that the minister has accepted confidence-building measures that include the transfer of tax payments to the Palestinian Authority, the granting of hundreds of permits. to prominent Palestinian traders and officials, and approving the residency status of thousands of Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza Strip. Gaza “.
During the meeting, which was held at Gantz’s home in a suburb of Tel Aviv, the two sides discussed the issue of coordinating security between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which manages the enclaves in the occupied West Bank.
In turn, the Tel Aviv foreign minister called the meeting between Gantz and Abbas important for Israel’s security.
One last chance before the explosion
Commenting on Abbas’ meeting with the Israeli Defense Minister, Hussein Al-Sheikh, a member of the Central Committee of the Palestinian Fatah movement, said today that this meeting, which is the first since 2010, constitutes “a great challenge and a final one. opportunity before the explosion and entry in a dead end. “
The Sheikh also added, in tweets via his Twitter account, that this meeting is a “serious and bold attempt to open a political path based on international legitimacy and put an end to escalating practices against the Palestinian people.”
Meanwhile, Hamas criticized this meeting, saying it deepened the Palestinian-Palestinian divide.
Hundreds of millions of taxes
Interestingly, the Israeli government has seized hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes belonging to the Palestinian Authority and recently prevented their transfer.
These fiscal transfers are a major source of funding for cash-strapped Palestinians, but Israel has withheld these funds because the Palestinian Authority has paid wages to thousands of families whose relatives have been killed, injured or imprisoned over the past few years. of conflict.
While Tel Aviv has claimed that these payments stimulate terrorism, Palestinian officials have repeatedly pointed out in past providing basic support to families in need.
Furthermore, Israel controls the Palestinian population register and its policies for several years have resulted in tens of thousands of Palestinians living without legal status, severely restricting their freedom of movement even within the occupied territories.
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