Two members of the left-wing Democratic Camp electoral alliance, including a granddaughter of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday in Ramallah.
MK Issawi Frej and Noa Rothman said they met with Abbas to draw attention to the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate ahead of general elections in September, amid growing calls for annexation of West Bank settlements by right-wing figures.
Rothman, whose grandfather signed the Oslo Accords that created the PA, tweeted after the meeting that she was “furious and disappointed” that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hasn’t done more to advance the peace process over the past decade.
“The inaction of Netanyahu and his disregard for the Palestinian issue proves time and time again that he himself is not a partner to the creation of hope for future generations,” said the Knesset candidate, who is placed ninth on the Democratic Camp party’s slate.
Rothman described Abbas as “a leader concerned by the radicalization of the Israeli people and Palestinian people and by the absence of hope and dialogue; a leader who understands that both parties have no other home, and that we have much to lose by the persistence of this conflict and its bloody price.”
Channel 13 news quoted Abbas as saying Netanyahu had refused to meet with him multiple times and that he hopes the next government will agree to speak with him.
Frej linked the Ramallah meeting to growing right-wing calls for the Israeli government to apply its sovereignty to the West Bank.
“At a time when the Netanyahu government is doing everything it can to advance annexation and prevent the two-state solution, the Democratic Camp is waving the diplomatic banner that is based on the understanding that the right of the Palestinians for a state alongside Israel is also an Israeli interest,” tweeted Frej.
Netanyahu is seeking a public declaration from US President Donald Trump ahead of the September elections backing an Israeli move to extend its sovereignty over Jewish settlements in the West Bank, officials in the Prime Minister’s Office told Zman Yisrael, The Times of Israel’s Hebrew-language site, on Sunday.
The PMO denied the report.
The White House has yet to reveal the political vision of its long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, though US officials have refrained from endorsing statehood for the Palestinians under a two-state framework while favoring Palestinian “autonomy.” The economic portion of the plan was unveiled in Bahrain in June.
The PA, which rejected the plan outright, has been boycotting the White House since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017.
Abbas over the weekend said settlements in the West Bank will be swept into “the dustbins of history” and contended that Palestinians are the original inhabitants of the region according to the Biblical history. Abbas made the comments in a strongly worded speech during the course of an extremely rare visit to a refugee camp in the West Bank days after Israeli officials pushed forward thousands of new Jewish homes.
Adam Rasgon contributed to this report.