New Head of Israel's Labor Party, Palestinian President Abbas Talk: 'We Must Build Trust'

Abbas calls new Labor head Gabbay, who says Palestinian leader should meet Netanyahu: 'Peace is not reached through international meetings or regional summits'

New Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay. July 12, 2017
Moti Milrod

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Wednesday the new head of Israel's Labor Party, Avi Gabbay, and congratulated him on winning the party chairmanship.

A statement from the Labor party stated that Gabbay told Abbas that he and Netanyahu need to meet face-to-face, hold talks on ongoing ties between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and start building mutual trust.

Gabbay told Abbas that one of the central issues that can be discussed are removing textbooks inciting against Israel from the Palestinian education system, as well as other issues, eventually move towards the core issues.

"Peace is not reached through international meetings or regional summits, it starts by building trust and personal ties between the sides," Gabbay told Abbas.

During the campaign, Gabbay said he was continuing the path of the late Yitzhak Rabin, though he had sat in Netanyahu's government at a time peace talks were stalled. He also said he is unafraid to address the sensitive issue of East Jerusalem and in his printed platform he states he would hand over Arab neighborhoods in the capital to the Palestinian Authority.