Palestinians will ‘work with Bennett’ if Israel stops ‘aggression’

The acknowledgement that the PA is willing to work with Bennett comes as a departure from the previous party line.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas acknowledged Israel’s new government Wednesday, after more than a week of silence following Natfali Bennett’s “change” coalition taking the reins of the Jewish State.

Abbas said that the PA would be willing to cooperate with the new Israeli government, but stressed that Israeli “aggression” was the root cause of the issues in the region.

“There was a great political crisis in Israel, and there still is one, of course,” Abbas said in a speech at a conference of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council.

“In the last election, the coalition for change won by one vote, and we will work with those who have been elected by the Israeli people.

“However, it all depends on [Israel] stopping aggression against the Palestinians, resolving our underlying issues and starting negotiations to reach a permanent solution to the conflict.”

He also addressed the issue of Qatari aid money, which Israel is currently blocking from being transferred to the Gaza Strip.

Israel fears that the millions in funding will be used for rearming and strengthening Hamas, rather than rebuilding civilian infrastructure in the Strip.

Calling the PA the only legitimate institution that could supervise the proper allocation of the Qatar aid money, Abbas suggested that the funds be transferred to his governing body.

Towards the end of his speech, Abbas praised residents of Beita, a Palestinian town near the outpost of Evyatar, calling them heroes of the “popular resistance.”

Residents of Beita have protested the presence of the Evyatar community by rock-throwing, setting fire to nearby land, and engaging in violent clashes with residents and the IDF.

Over the last two months, four Beita residents have been killed by IDF live fire during violent protests.

The acknowledgement that the PA is willing to work with Bennett comes as a departure from the previous party line.

Abbas and other PA leaders have expressed fear that a Bennett government would be more rightwing than one led by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Bennett has advocated for annexing large swaths of Judea and Samaria and opposes the creation of a Palestinian state.

“It is inaccurate to call it a ‘government of change,’ unless one means to say that Netanyahu is no longer there,” read a statement from the PA Foreign Ministry after Bennett was sworn in.

“As for [the change government’s] policies, we estimate that will see no difference, or perhaps even worse.”