Abbas-Gantz meeting: the president’s failure and guarantees of authority

Abbas-Gantz meeting: the president’s failure and guarantees of authority
Abbas-Gantz meeting: the president’s failure and guarantees of authority

It is not news that the general address of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, for the second time in a few months, is accompanied by two means that seek to achieve calm, namely granting additional facilities to the Palestinians and increasing the pace of security coordination with the Authority.

But the timing of the meeting, which took place at a time when the West Bank is experiencing severe tensions due to the escalation of the occupation army and its settlers, as well as the internal tension, in addition to the mechanism of holding the meeting (Abbas went to Benny Gantz’s house this time), and the nature of the topics that were discussed.. all Matters that necessitated a deeper understanding of it, in light of the internal Palestinian controversy because of the meeting, and severe criticism of the authority and its president, under the title “The most important thing for the leadership of the authority is privileges and ensuring survival and control.”

This is what prompted an official in the Palestinian Authority, to express his rejection of this meeting, in timing, place, and content, explaining to Al-Modon that, from a protocol point of view, it is an insult to the Palestinian Authority, since the president of the Authority meets an Israeli minister every time, not Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, which depoliticizes this type of meeting. The official pointed out that the Abbas-Gantz meeting focused on providing additional facilities to the Palestinians. He described the outcome of the meeting as “painers and facilities” to improve life for the Palestinians, while ensuring calm on the ground in the West Bank, away from moving the political track.

This statement from the Palestinian official shows the extent of the internal division in the corridors of the authority and the “Fatah” movement regarding this meeting, and the way it was conducted in a way that harms the authority in front of Palestinian public opinion more than it benefits it.

A political source following the visit told Al-Modon that Israel is leading PA President Mahmoud Abbas, compelled by the idea of ​​”economic peace”, whether he likes it or not, because the PA feels that it is in a sensitive and politically pressured circumstance for it, which heightens its fears for its stability. Especially after recent internal Palestinian events, the authority showed a lack of control over some areas.

According to the source residing in the 48-lands, Israel intends by these steps to save Abu Mazen’s rule and strengthen the role of the authority, but the question is “whether Israel, through its practices, will lead to the collapse of the Palestinian rule?”

For his part, the official for mobilization and organization in the “Fatah” movement, Munir al-Jaghoub, responded to the factional and popular anger over Abbas’ visit to Gantz’s home, by saying that “the surprising reaction of the Israeli right refusing the visit met the position of some Palestinian factions.” He added to Al-Modon, that granting family unification and identities to Palestinians to establish their presence on their land is not just “facilitations”, but clearly indicates that it is a political matter. He continued, “We trust President Abbas, and he sits with everyone, but he does not establish understandings for a political class, but rather in connection with the broad national project, in an attempt to move the stagnant waters.”

Al-Jagob considered that “mistakes are being committed by all factions, not only by the authority, including Hamas, which concludes agreements with Israel to increase the number of Gaza workers who obtain permits to work within 48 territories,” as he said.

In fact, the Gantz-Abbas meeting came at an American request and with the desire of the Israeli military leadership to achieve stability. It was supposed to be held before that, but was postponed until after Gantz’s last visit to the United States. Gantz is seen as the Israeli government official closest to the US administration, and they share a common chemistry, unlike Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who has a cold and tense relationship with the Biden administration.

According to Al-Modon’s data, Naftali Bennett asked Gantz to talk about everything without the political ceiling with Abbas, meaning that the discussion should be limited to what is related to the mission of the Civil Administration of the Israeli army, given that it controls the daily life of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, in addition. To security matters shared with the Authority.

The Abbas-Gantz meeting lasted for two and a half hours, and was divided into two halves. The first was attended by the head of the General Intelligence, Majed Faraj, and the Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh. The second was closed, as it was limited to Abbas and Gantz only. Gantz spoke with Abbas about the common interests that require close security coordination between the two parties, and the Israeli security information on the activities of Palestinian factions and parties to undermine the authority’s prestige and ability to control. Abbas also received a repeated promise from Gantz that “Israeli facilitation will eventually open the door to moving the political track.”

According to what a source revealed to Al-Modon, Gantz renewed a sentence he told Abbas in their previous meeting, namely, “He aspires to be Yitzhak Rabin Number Two,” in order to lead, with “boldness,” a political stage that brings a political solution, when the opportunity arises for him to head the government. in Israel.

In the case, these dramatic developments in the authority’s relationship with Israel coincide with conversations taking place in closed corridors, according to Al-Modon’s sources, to the effect that “Abbas acknowledges that the two-state solution has effectively fallen, and that this calls for a different Palestinian discourse, whether directed at the home or the international community, and this It requires another way of working.” Perhaps this is an acknowledgment by the decision-makers in the authority that its rhetoric has become vulgar, in light of the disappearance of its political cards. There is talk that this matter will be strongly present in the Central Council of the Liberation Organization when it meets in February 2022, and after it the eighth Fatah conference next spring.

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