icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Israel agrees to ‘strengthen’ Palestinian economy in first top-level talks since 2010 held after PM Bennett’s return from US

Israel agrees to ‘strengthen’ Palestinian economy in first top-level talks since 2010 held after PM Bennett’s return from US
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met late on Sunday in the first such top-level talks in over a decade, with Israel agreeing to work toward boosting the crumbling PA economy.

The two got together just hours after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett returned from Washington, where US President Joe Biden, who is a strong supporter of the two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, asked him to take steps “to improve the lives of Palestinians and support greater economic opportunities for them.” During the conversation at the White House, Bennett agreed to help the West Bank deal with its financial crisis, but ruled out any work toward Palestinian independence.

Gantz and Abbas met in the city of Ramallah in the West Bank on Sunday evening and discussed “all aspects of Palestinian-Israeli relations,” Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior PA official, said on Twitter.

The Israeli defense minister was more specific in his tweet early on Monday, revealing that “security-policy, civilian and economic issues” were on the agenda.

“I told Chairman Abbas that Israel seeks to take measures that will strengthen the PA’s economy,” Gantz wrote.

He didn’t name the exact steps that the Jewish State was planning to make, but added that the sides agreed to continue with the communications.

Also on rt.com UN special rapporteur says Israeli settlements ‘amount to war crime,’ drawing ire from Tel Aviv

The last time high-ranking Israeli and Palestinian officials held such a face-to-face meeting was in 2010, shortly after then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu started his second term in office. After that, even phone calls became rare as bilateral relations deteriorated and the peace process between the sides stalled.

The Palestinian economy is in dire need of assistance as it was heavily hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, which prevented many locals from working inside Israel, and a significant drop in international financial aid. In 2019, the PA had received around $300 million in foreign support by the end of June. This year, the sum only stood at $30.2 million, which is a reduction by a factor of 10.

Also on rt.com ‘Expiry date too close’: Palestinian Authority scraps deal for Israel to swap 1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses

An official from Prime Minister Bennett’s Office has warned against drawing any serious conclusions from the talks between Gantz and Abbas, the Times of Israel paper reported. “This is a meeting that deals with security issues. There is no diplomatic process with the Palestinians nor will there be,” the official pointed out.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts