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Israel's Gantz announces confidence-building measures after hosting Palestinian President Abbas

After hosting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his home in Rosh Ha’ayin, Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced a series of confidence-building measures for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during the 74th United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations on September 26, 2019 in New York City.

Israel’s Defense Ministry announced this morning a series of civil and economic measures designed to ease the daily lives of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced the measures following his Dec. 28 meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Gantz hosted Abbas at his home in the Israeli city of Rosh Ha’ayin. Reportedly, the meeting lasted for about two and a half hours. Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Maj. Gen. Rassan Alian and head of the Palestinian General Authority for Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh were both present at the meeting, though part of it took place between Abbas and Gantz only. It was the first meeting of the Palestinian leader inside Israel since 2010, except for  Abbas’ partaking in the funeral ceremony of President Shimon Peres in 2016.

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