Report: Netanyahu and Abbas met secretly in Jordan before ceasefire
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met secretly in Amman prior to the announcement Tuesday of the cease-fire which ended 50 days of fighting between Israel and armed factions in Gaza, Jordanian daily Al-Ghad reported on Wednesday.
The paper quoted diplomatic sources as saying that the meeting of senior Israeli and Palestinian officials that is believed to have included Netanyahu and Abbas took place a few days before the cease-fire.
The Prime Minister's Office did not immediately comment on the report.
The Palestinian Authority is expected to have a major role in rebuilding Gaza after Operation Protective Edge, as is outlined in the parameters of the cease-fire deal.
The PA will lead coordination of the reconstruction effort in Gaza with international donors, including the European Union, Qatar, Turkey and Norway. Saudi Arabia is also likely to be a major donor, with the expectation in Jerusalem being that unlike Qatar, it will take pains to ensure that its funds will not be directed to Hamas, but rather to build up the PA.
Channel 2 reported that a three-person committee made up of Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, UN Mideast envoy Robert Serry and PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah will supervise the process and determine what goods are allowed in.
Asked if he felt that Abbas was a partner for peace, Netanyahu said in his first press conference following the ceae-fire on Wednesday that the Palestinian leader “needs to choose what side he is on.”
Netanyahu said he hopes Abbas will continue to want a diplomatic process with Israel and an eventual agreement, and if he did then Israel would want him and his forces in control of Gaza.