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Meretz ministers to meet Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah next week

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks a meeting of the PLO executive committee and a Fatah Central Committee at the Palestinian Authority headquarters, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks a meeting of the PLO executive committee and a Fatah Central Committee at the Palestinian Authority headquarters, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will meet with left-wing Israeli ministers Issawi Frej and Nitzan Horowitz next week in Ramallah, a spokesperson for Frej’s office confirms.

Abbas rarely met with his Israeli counterparts during the previous administration of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which saw ties between Israel and the PA grow increasingly strained.

But officials in the new government, headed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, have pledged to strengthen Abbas’s unpopular government. Defense Minister Benny Gantz, of the Blue and White party, met with Abbas in Ramallah in August before announcing a string of initiatives to aid the PA.

Horowitz, who serves as health minister, met with his PA counterpart, Mai al-Kaila, in late July. Frej, who holds the regional cooperation portfolio, has met with several senior PA officials.

Bennett, however, has been clear that there will be no return to the peace process under the current government. A longtime champion of the settlement movement, Bennett opposes the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

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