Palestinian leadership rooting for Benny Gantz due to ‘political inexperience’

A senior official reportedly said the PA hopes to “exploit the lack of political experience of Gantz and most of his people.”

By World Israel News Staff

A senior official in the office of Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas says that Palestinian leaders have voiced their preference for Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz as Israel’s next prime minister over incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu.

The official acknowledged that the PA’s formal position is not to get involved in Israel’s internal affairs, but adds, that, in fact, “the Palestinian leadership prefers Gantz and the Blue and White list at the head of the government,” reports daily newspaper Israel Hayom.

The paper reports that another senior PA official confirmed that a top level consultation at PA headquarters in Ramallah, in which Abbas participated, drew “the clear conclusion” that Gantz and MK Yair Lapid, whose Yesh Atid party is running together with him, is preferable to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the helm.

The Palestinian leadership is tempering its enthusiasm for Blue and White with the realization that they are “not the same as the leaders of Meretz and Peace Now.”

Meretz leader MK Tamar Zandberg held talks in Ramallah on Sunday with Abbas. She has stated in the past that in the process which follows the Knesset election, she would recommend to President Reuven Rivlin that he give Gantz the first crack at cobbling together a parliamentary majority to form the next government.

The latest public opinion polls show Blue and White with a slight lead over Netanyahu’s Likud, dropping significantly from their previous larger lead. A Haaretz newspaper poll released Monday has Gantz leading 31 to 28 in the 120-seat parliament, but also shows that the right-wing of the political spectrum would maintain a majority, making it easier for Netanyahu to set up the next government coalition.

The senior Palestinian officials told Israel Hayom that they feel “hostility” toward the current prime minister and right-wing leadership.

They hope that under a new government, there will be a “breakthrough” in a peace process and “diplomatic and political achievements for the Palestinians in the international arena.”

According to the newspaper report, the PA leadership hopes to “exploit the lack of political experience of Gantz and most of his people.”

A senior Palestinian official also told Israel Hayom that the announcement of the details of U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan for Israel and the Palestinians could be delayed if Netanyahu loses the election because the plan “is coordinated with Netanyahu’s interests.” U.S. officials have said that the plan would be released right after the Israeli election.