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Meretz leader justifies Abbas applications to UN treaties

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Meretz Party leader Zehava Gal-On defends the application of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to 15 international treaties, claiming that this move could constitute a framework for continuing negotiations.
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“The Palestinians were right to turn to the UN to get recognition. They had no other choice.” This surprising position is expressed by the chairwoman of the Meretz Party, Knesset member Zehava Gal-On, in an interview with Al-Monitor, which took place during the attempts to resuscitate the negotiations, on April 19. Gal-On refuses to adopt the insulted and accusatory narrative of Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni, and challenges it. Lapid and Livni, the heads of the centrist parties in the coalition, claim that the responsibility for the blowup of the diplomatic process lies with the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, who submitted applications to 15 international treaties, to join as a state.

“I really don’t understand why we should be scared of the Palestinians going to the UN. I don’t understand all of the hysterics of Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid. I really wasn’t troubled by it,” says Gal-On. As opposed to the heads of Yesh Atid and Hatnua parties, she doesn’t think this move was premeditated. “I don’t think he [Abbas] wanted [negotiations] to fail, but at the moment that Israel refused to carry out the fourth round and release the prisoners, he did the right thing.”

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