Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday spoke with Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas and wished him a happy Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday which marks the conclusion of the month of Ramadan.
Netanyahu told the PA Chairman that the citizens of Israel want peace and added that Israel would continue to act toward regional stability.
The conversation comes as the international community has pressured Israel and the PA in recent months to resume peace talks that have been frozen since last year.
France has been making efforts to bring Israel and the PA back to the negotiating table for peace talks that stalled in April last year. It has so far focused with Arab states on a possible resolution that would set negotiating parameters and establish a time period, possibly 18 months, to complete talks.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius visited the region recently, urging the resumption of Middle East peace talks but warning that continued Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria poses a threat to a final deal.
Meanwhile, it has been mostly Abbas who has continuously imposed preconditions on peace talks. He recently did so again, demanding that Israel stop construction in Judea and Samaria, release terrorist prisoners and hold talks for a period of no more than a year.
Interior Minister Silvan Shalom, who was appointed by Netanyahu to be in charge of peace talks with the PA, last week called for the resumption of the talks but also said that “it takes two to tango” and that the PA needs to also show willingness to resume talks.
“We need to resume the negotiations with the Palestinians, even though we don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said, adding that Israel has publicly announced that it wants to resume the negotiations immediately but that “desire from both sides” is required to do so.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)
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