Israel FM Lapid defends turning down Palestinian President Abbas’ meeting requests – The New Arab 25 January, 2022

Israel’s FM Yair Lapid contradicted claims he discussed political issues with Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein Al-Sheikh discussed, saying they talked about matters including security.

Yair Lapid said there is no principled objection to meeting with Mahmoud Abbas Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid defended his decision to decline repeated requests for meetings from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday.

He told Israel’s Army Radio he will meet Abbas only when there is political justification for it, saying this is currently “non-existent”, The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, reported.

Lapid insisted Israel’s current coalition government is not pursuing political negotiations with the Palestinian Authority and promised not to go behind his coalition partners’ backs by personally initiating such talks.

He highlighted Defence Minister Benny Gantz’s hosting of Abbas in his home in December. There they discussed the PA’s ties with Israel.

Palestinian minister holds first meet with Israel’s Lapid

MENAThe New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lapid himself hosted Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein Al-Sheikh at his Tel Aviv house on Sunday but told Army Radio this concerned security, the West Bank economy, and the relationship between the two sides.

This contradicts Palestinian Authority and certain Israeli claims that Lapid and Al-Sheikh discussed political issues.