Ex-Israeli minister to Abbas: Peace comes by trust

Bethlehem/PNN/

Israel’s newly-elected Labour party leader, Avi Gabbay, has criticised the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s President, Mahmoud Abbas, for using the international community to pressure Tel Aviv to reach a peace deal between the two sides, Israel’s Haaretz reported.

Gabbay’s remarks came during his telephone call with Abbas on Wednesday, as the Palestinian president was congratulating him on the victory in the party elections.

During the call, Gabbay urged Abbas to meet face-to-face with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the ongoing issues between Israel and the PA, and to build “mutual trust.”

Peace is not reached through international meetings or regional summits, it starts by building trust and personal ties between the sides,” Gabbay told Abbas.

For its part, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported yesterday that Abbas stressed during the phone call on the importance of reaching a peace deal for the conflict that is based on the two-state solution. The deal should also take into account the previous international resolutions and agreements, he added.

Gabbay, 50, holds a degree in economics and business administration. He completed his military service at the rank of major in the Israeli army’s intelligence.

His career began in the finance ministry’s budget department, where he worked for some four years before moving to be the director general of Bezeq, a major Israeli telecoms company. In 2014, he was assumed as the environmental affairs minister at Netanyahu’s government.

The former minister in Israel’s center-right Kulanu party, was elected Monday as the new chairman of the Israeli Labor Party, the most prominent opposition party, beating veteran lawmaker and former leader, Amir Peretz, after two rounds of voting.