Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz asked Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to work on restoring security coordination to abort attempts to spread chaos, a Tel Aviv political source revealed on Tuesday.
“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called Defense Minister Benny Gantz to congratulate him on the Jewish New Year,” the PA news agency WAFA reported.
An Israeli official confirmed the conversation, albeit a short one, and said the two also discussed the security situation in the West Bank and reinforcing security coordination.
Gantz also asked Abbas to work toward stopping the escalation.
According to informed Israeli sources, Gantz seized the opportunity in Abbas’s call to urge the PA head to “restore security coordination between the PA and Tel Aviv to the way it was before,” stressing that it was in the interest of both Israelis and Palestinians.
Gantz’s office said that the defense minister discussed with Abbas “the security situation in Judea and Samaria (the Israeli naming of the occupied West Bank territories), and the need to strengthen security coordination to ensure that law and order are upheld.”
It added that Gantz also discussed strengthening of the PA’s control over the West Bank’s Area A, as stipulated by the Oslo Agreement.
For his part, Abbas said that the cause of tension in the occupied Palestinian territories is due to the strict measures that Israel exercises against citizens, ranging from daily mass arrests to encouraging settler militias to carry out attack.
However, Gantz warned that “there is a significant increase in Palestinian terrorist operations against the Israeli army and settlers, and this forces the army to be present in a large way and to pursue organizations to thwart such operations.”
The Israeli source affirmed that although the conversation between Gantz and Abbas was cordial it resembled a “voiceless dialogue.”