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Mahmoud Abbas shakes dormant Palestinian-Israeli relations

The Palestinian president’s daring visit to Israel to meet at the home of Defense Minister Benny Gantz has brought a huge storm to both of them, but Abbas and his aides insist that the visit was a final warning to Israel before things explode due to settler violence and absence of any political horizon for Palestinians.
Benny Gantz and Mahmoud Abbas.

In a daring move that has produced sharp attacks from all sides, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to an invitation by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz to visit him at his home south of Tel Aviv on Dec. 28. The meeting drew criticism of Gantz from his own prime minister and against Abbas from a wide range of Palestinian leaders.

But Hussein al-Sheikh, the lead Palestinian official responsible for liaison with the Israelis, told Al-Monitor that the visit was intended to send a final warning to the Israelis. “President Abbas made it clear to Gantz that we are witnessing the last opportunity before an explosion takes place, and that without a political formula the situation could easily blow up,” Sheikh said.

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