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Officials: Gantz sent Abbas ‘stern message’ to condemn terror attack

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Left: Defense Minister Benny Gantz. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File); Right: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool, File)
Left: Defense Minister Benny Gantz. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File); Right: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool, File)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s office passed along a “stern message” to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas urging him to condemn tonight’s deadly terror attack in Bnei Brak, two officials familiar with the matter confirm to The Times of Israel.

Less than an hour after receiving the message, Abbas issued a condemnation — a rare step that was not taken by the PA leader after the other two terror attacks that took place in Israel over the past week.

The Israeli security establishment has been pushing a series of moves to ease restrictions on Palestinians ahead of the holy month of Ramadan that begins in early April.

Those steps are in jeopardy following the Bnei Brak attack, but they would’ve been further at risk had Abbas kept silent, one of the officials tells The Times of Israel.

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