(January 30, 2018 / JNS) Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon will meet with Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in an effort to boost economic cooperation, according to Israeli media reports.
The premise behind the meeting, which would follow a meeting between Kahlon and U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, is that the U.S. and Israel believe economic cooperation is a key component of any peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. This will be the first meeting between senior Israeli and Palestinian officials in several months. Kahlon will reportedly urge Hamdallah to consider participating in U.S.-brokered peace negotiations.
Palestinian leaders boycotted the recent visit to Israel by Vice President Michael Pence, in response to President Donald Trump’s official recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his intent to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
At last week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, during a joint appearance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump warned that the PA might pay a significant price for failing to cooperate with the U.S.
Earlier this month, PA President Mahmoud Abbas launched a tirade against Trump, saying “may your house be destroyed” and declaring that the Palestinians “will not accept for the U.S. to be a mediator…after what they have done to us.”