Senior PA official: ‘We are paying price for Bennett’s weakness’

September 30, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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“We eulogized [Benjamin] Netanyahu, but now we find that we are required to pay a heavy price for [Prime Minister Naftali] Bennett’s political weakness and lack of progress on the Palestinian issue,” a senior Palestinian Authority official told Israel TPS in response to Bennett’s speech at the 76th UN General Assembly.

Naftali Bennett addresses the UBGA. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)

The Palestinians express disappointment, concern, and even ridicule for the prime minister’s speech, the most prominent of which, in their opinion, is the disregard for the Palestinian issue.

“Bennett mentioned the Palestinians zero times, four times the president of Iran Ibrahim Raisi, and 40 times Israel,” said a Palestinian source, adding that “this is not a real speech and it is clear that the Israeli prime minister failed in his first speech at the UN General Assembly and preferred to deal with Corona issues and the formation of his government rather than the main and important issues such as the Palestinian issue.”

Another senior PA official said that “this is a personal propaganda speech in which Bennett recounts what we heard from Benjamin Netanyahu. Why did he have to travel to New York to tell the world about Israel’s struggle with Corona and ignore the Palestinian issue,” the official asked.

In response to Bennett’s speech, the Palestinian media expanded on the Likud’s criticism of Bennett’s speech and quoted Members of Knesset Israel Katz, Miri Regev and others, as well as the Likud’s response that it was “an empty speech.”

Palestinian sources expressed concern that the Israeli government, due to its internal political weakness, is not subject to significant American pressure or political pressure within Israel, given the fear that such pressure will lead to its collapse.

Referring to the remarks made by Ahmad Majdalani, a senior PLO official, to Radio Nas in Israel, according to which the Palestinians heard other things from other sources and senior members of the Israeli government, and that he “suggests to wait and see developments in the near future,” the PA official said that “it is clear that the Americans are not putting significant pressure on Israel, both because of the American agenda dedicated to internal issues and because of the American concern about shocks in the Bennett government, and the speech proves that the Palestinians are once again facing a political stalemate.”

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