Left-wing Israeli Ministers to Meet Palestinian President Abbas

Senior Palestinian Authority officials are pushing the Meretz ministers for a series of mainly economic demands amidst a moribund diplomatic process with Israel

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Meretz lawmakers Nitzan Horowitz and Esawi Freige at a party meeting, July.
Meretz lawmakers Nitzan Horowitz and Esawi Freige at a party meeting, July.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Freige, both from Meretz, are set to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Sunday night to discuss a series of demands by the Palestinian Authority. 

The meeting has political significance for Meretz, the most left-wing party in the coalition, against the backdrop of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's sidelining of Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.

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The prime minister recently reiterated that no political settlement will be reached with the Palestinian Authority under his leadership. At his UN speech earlier this week, Bennett failed to mention the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the need for advancing relations with the Palestinian Authority at all. 

Either way, the meeting with Meretz's leaders isn't expected to jumpstart a diplomatic agreement, partly because the Palestinian Authority has also made clear that it isn't interested in an overt and substantial process at this stage. 

Senior PA officials are instead covertly advancing a list of primarily economic demands to improve the welfare of the Palestinian public.

The government has accepted some of the demands, which were seen by Haaretz, and include a significant increase in working permits for Palestinians with jobs in Israel, as well as building permits for Palestinian villages in the West Bank.

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