Netanyahu gov’t ‘reviving peace process,’ making concessions to Palestinians – PA officials

PA official thrilled by Netanyahu government’s willingness to freeze settlement building, because previous prime ministers Lapid and Bennett refused to negotiate with the Palestinians, PA officials say.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A senior official from the Palestinian Authority said he was pleased with the willingness of the right-wing government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “work with the Palestinians,” including granting concessions like settlement freezes and resuming peace talks between the entity and the Jewish State.

Speaking anonymously, a PA representative told the Jerusalem Post that two recent security summits held in Egypt – where Israel promised to freeze settlement building and planning for at least the next six months – have demonstrated that “the Palestinians can work with the Netanyahu government.”

During both of those summits held within a month of each other, Palestinian terrorists shot Israelis at point blank range. Brothers Yagel and Hillel Yaniv were murdered in late February while the first summit took place.

On Sunday, during the second summit, a terrorist shot American-Israeli David Stern in the head. The victim is still hospitalized, but reportedly not in life-threatening condition.

The “peace process between Israel and the Palestinians has effectively been revived through the two summits,” the PA official told the Post.

The same official noted that during the last government, which was headed by Naftali Bennett and then Yair Lapid, Israel had refused to engage in any sort of discussions regarding settlement matters or the peace process with the Palestinians.

Contact with the Israeli government had been limited to matters of security, the PA official said, and the Netanyahu government’s willingness to negotiate and make concessions is a welcome change.

Despite a recent uptick in deadly attacks, which has seen 15 Israelis murdered by Palestinian terrorists since the beginning of 2023, the Israeli government is gearing up for more concessions to the Palestinians in honor of the month-long Islamic holiday of Ramadan.

During the holiday period, many people from Palestinian Authority-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria will be allowed to visit Jerusalem, without an entry permit.

Women of all ages, children up to the age of 12, and men older than 55 will be able to freely visit the Israeli capital and pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said in a statement.

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Additionally, COGAT will grant visitors’ permits to an unknown number of Gazans, with women older than 50 and men over 55 welcome to apply.