Defense Minister Benny Gantz hosted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at his home in Rosh Ha’ayin on Tuesday night. It marked the first time the Palestinian leader held talks with a senior Israeli official in Israel since 2010.
The meeting was Gantz and Abbas’s second since the new Israeli government was formed in June. According to the Defense Ministry, it lasted two and a half hours; part of it was between Abbas and Gantz alone.
“The Defense Minister emphasized the shared interest in strengthening security cooperation, preserving security stability, and preventing terrorism and violence,” Gantz’s office said in a statement.
Gantz also told Abbas that he intended to continue advancing “confidence-building measures in civil and economic fields,” according to the Defense Ministry.
Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians Ghassan Alian, widely known by his acronym COGAT, also participated in the meeting on the Israeli side.