Israel dismisses Abbas’ enthusiasm after Trump meeting

Israel’s leadership dismissed and rejected Abbas’ peace overtures made during his meeting with Trump in Washington.

Israel’s leadership reacted with dismissal to the excited declarations about pending peace that Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas made during his meeting with President Donald Trump in Washington on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed Abbas’ statement that Israel was an ”occupier” as “another Palestinian invention that never happened, which is meant to divert the discussion from the demand to stop the funding of terrorists by the Palestinian Authority.”

Trump reportedly pressed Abbas to end payments to Palestinian terrorists and their families. It is one of several moves Washington believes could lead to resumed peace talks with Israel. Other actions include an end to anti-Israel rhetoric and incitement of violence.

Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel slammed Abbas for “talking about peace while funding terrorists.” He demanded the PA’s conduct stop, while calling for a boost in Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely stated that “Abu Mazen [Abbas] goes to Washington while he continues to transfer funds to terrorists’ families. It is clear to any intelligent person that Abbas is not interested in peace.”

Israel considers stipends paid by the PA to families of Palestinian terrorists killed or jailed in Israel rewards and strong encouragement for additional terror. The payments are considered an honor by the Palestinians, who spend some $330 M. annually on them.

Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Minister of Environmental Protection Ze’ev Elkin said Thursday that a round of diplomatic negotiations between Israel and Palestinians was likely after the meeting, while stressing that the prospects for an actual deal were slim.

“I assume there is a particular likelihood that peace talks will begin,” Elkin told IDF Radio. “I would cool the excitement a bit because, once again, we have experience with Abu Mazen.”

Elkin was relating to previous failed attempts to negotiate with Abbas.

“He [Abbas] was given the best conditions he could have ever dreamed of,” Elkin said of past Israeli offers.

During the meeting, Trump expressed optimism that he could resolve the conflict.

“We will get it done. We will be working so hard to get it done. It’s been a long time, but we will be working diligently, and I think there’s a very, very good chance,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Abbas.

“Now, with you, Mr. President, we have hope,” the PA president responded.

The source of Trump’s optimism was not immediately apparent. He offered no details about his effort or how it would be any different from attempts over the past two decades. Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all tried and failed.

The peace process has been stalled since 2014, and there have been no serious attempts to restart negotiations.

By: World Israel News Staff