Lapid to Palestinians: ‘Stop firing rockets and we’ll help you’

“We have a basic approach that they won’t fire 4,000 missiles on Israeli citizens if they want to receive help,” said Lapid during his visit to the UAE.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid praised Emirati officials and said the United Arab Emirates could potentially facilitate an Israel-Palestinian peace process during the first-ever visit of an Israeli minister to the Gulf State after the historic August 2020 Abraham Accords.

During a press conference in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday evening, Lapid said the UAE has a sophisticated understanding of Israel’s security concerns.

It’s “extremely impressive how politically sharp they are,” Lapid said. “You really have to understand the material to respond the way they responded,” referring to official statements made during the recent Israeli conflict with Hamas.

He also said he was convinced that the UAE “will be a positive player in any possible process, if there is such a process,” stopping short of promising that peace talks will resume any time soon.

Rather, Lapid stressed that the Palestinians, both in Gaza and in the PA-run areas, would need to commit to a path of nonviolence and provide Israel with a reasonable negotiating partner.

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Aggressive action and violent conflict perpetuated by terror groups such as Hamas would limit Israel’s ability to return to peace talks and the Palestinians’ ability to rebuild, Lapid said.

“In the end, the Palestinians themselves have to want to move forward in order for someone else to come in and help them. That’s not the case right now.

“We have a basic approach that they won’t fire 4,000 missiles on Israeli citizens if they want to receive help. This sounds simple, and it truly is simple,” he said.

During a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi earlier in the day, Lapid praised former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, specifically singling him out as the “architect” of the normalization agreement.

Lapid spoke highly of Netanyahu, despite a history of animosity between them.

“I have disagreements with him, but that doesn’t mean I have to take something away from him,” said Lapid. “I thought it was right to thank him for the efforts he invested in this.”