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Israeli leaders ask Palestinian president for 'calm' ahead of Biden visit

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapids says he would not rule out a meeting with Palestnian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Israel's former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Cabinet Secretary Shalom Shlomo attend the first Cabinet meeting days after lawmakers dissolved parliament, Jerusalem, July 3, 2022.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid spoke June 8 over the phone with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It was the first direct call between an Israeli prime minister and the Palestinian leader since 2017, when then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Abbas. The 2017 conversation came after an attack near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where Arab assailants shot and killed two Israeli police officers.

The July 8 phone conversation was part of a round of calls Lapid was making to offer Muslim leaders best wishes ahead of the Eid al-Adha holiday on July 9. According to a statement by Lapid’s office, the two leaders discussed US President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel this week, and in particular “the continuation of cooperation and the need to ensure quiet and calm.”

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