Gantz talks security with PA leader Abbas on eve of expected exit

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has appointed his Likud party’s Yoav Galant as defense minister in the incoming government, replacing Gantz.

By TPS and World Israel News Staff

Outgoing Minister of Defense Benny Gantz – who may be out of office as of Thursday night – spoke Wednesday evening with the chairman of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas about the PA’s security arrangements with Israel.

Gantz said that during their conversation, he stressed the importance of what he described as “the relationship that developed between the Israeli security system and the political echelon and the Palestinian Authority.”

Gantz said that he told Abbas he sees it as the utmost importance to continue to maintain an “open channel and the security and civil coordination, which serves the security of both Palestinians and Israelis and enables economic and civil well-being.”

He also told Abbas that international moves against Israel, such as the one the PA is seeking to promote at the UN, will “ultimately harm the Palestinian public as well, and above all will raise the walls and make it difficult in the future to promote a political process between the parties.”

Earlier in the evening, Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdainah, commented on the establishment of Netanyahu’s government, which is expected to be sworn in Thursday.

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“Netanyahu’s statements are contrary to international law, constitute a dangerous escalation and will have consequences for the region,” he claimed.

“The settlements will face an escalation of the resistance and the application of pressure – we are not afraid of the threats,” Hamas threatened.