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December 4, 2020 10:39 am

Gantz Urges Palestinians to Return to the Negotiation Table

avatar by i24 News

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a cabinet meeting of the new government, at the Chagall Hall in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, May 24, 2020. Photo: Abir Sultan / Pool via Reuters / File.

i24News – Israeli Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz called on the Palestinians Friday to resume to the negotiation table and tighten its collaboration with the Jewish state with regards to the coronavirus crisis.

In a video uploaded to the Facebook page of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson in Arabic, Gantz addressed the Palestinians in Hebrew — with Arabic subtitles — stressing that “The Middle East is changing, it is in your interest to resume negotiations.”

The former military chief stipulated that “We will help you with the issue of vaccines — we will increase enforcement on the non-entry of Israeli citizens into A and B territories [in the West Bank] in coordination with the Palestinian Authority and we will begin sample tests at the crossings.”

Gantz further pledged to advance “big” projects in the Gaza Strip, such as providing large quantities of work permits, and promoting energy, water and agricultural projects.

Relations between Israel and the Palestinians have taken a slight turn recently, after Jerusalem has released more than $1 billion in funds withheld from the PA.

Following Israel’s claimed plans to annex territories in the West Bank in the summer, the Palestinians suspended all coordination with Jerusalem, also halting the acceptance of the transfer of taxes.

However, deprived of the income, and after the Jewish state put its sovereignty plans on hold, the Palestinians shifted their stance, in what may be the first step toward coordination between the sides.

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