Abbas Supports Palestinian Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has expressed support for the work of a committee tasked with maintaining interaction with the Israeli society.
Earlier this week, Abbas met with members of the committee, who have been facing mounting popular criticism and accusations of normalization with Israel.
“The work that you are doing is a national action by all standards… We must all know that this work may not be understood by others, who do not read the truth, so they act this way,” the Palestinian president told committee members.
Abbas stressed that the committee was implementing a decision by the National Assembly, saying: “You work according to the orders of the leadership, and you go to those meetings based on explicit instructions.”
The Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society has sparked controversy and anger, especially as meetings with the Israeli side continued despite stances by Palestinian officials about ending all agreements with Israel, including the Oslo Accords, and facing the US peace plan known as the Deal of the Century.
The committee was formed in 2012, in line with a decision by Abbas, but was widely criticized by Palestinians.
Abbas rejected on Monday the resignation of Mohammed al-Madani, the head of the committee, who took his move after coming under heavy criticism.
Palestinian factions, writers and activists attacked the committee’s work, and considered holding meetings with the Israelis “a stab in the back”.