Amid tensions, Defence Minister Gantz talks with PA head Abbas

April 6, 2022 by TPS
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Defence Minister Benny Gantz spoke Tuesday evening with Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, as security tensions are high following a series of terror attacks in Israel that claimed the lives of 11 people.

Benny Gantz

Gantz wished Abbas and “the Palestinian people a blessed month of Ramadan,” his office stated.

Gantz said that “the month of Ramadan must be a month of peace and quiet and not a period marked by terror.” He spoke of the “horrendous terror attacks” that took the lives of 11 people over the past two weeks and emphasized that “Israel will continue to take the measures necessary to prevent attacks and to defend its citizens.”

Gantz expressed his appreciation to Abbas for condemning the terror attack that took place in Bnei Brak, the latest attack in which five people were killed.

In his unusual statement, Abbas “stressed that the killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians will only lead to further deterioration of the situation, especially as we are approaching the holy month of Ramadan and the Christian and Jewish holidays.”

He then warned against “attempts by Israeli settlers and other sides to exploit this condemned incident to carry out attacks and reactions against our Palestinian people.”

Finally, Gantz noted that Israel is prepared to expand civilian measures during and after the month of Ramadan, in accordance with the security situation.

The PA’s official WAFA news agency did not report on the conversation.

Gantz announced Tuesday that the relief measures for Muslims during Ramadan will be limited and only partial following the wave of terrorism.

Muslims from the PA will be allowed to attend Friday prayers on the Temple Mount but only men aged 50 and over, or men aged 40 and over are subject to a permit.

Family visits for terrorists imprisoned in Israel will be allowed only for first-degree relatives.

There will be another situation next assessment week that will look at expanding the steps.

Tensions are high ahead of the first Friday of Ramadan this week, and the Seder night on Passover next weekend.


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