Abbas phones Netanyahu to express condolences (JERUSALEM POST) By TOVAH LAZAROFF 05/04/12)
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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday to express his condolences
over the death of his father Benzion, 102, early Monday morning.
It is the third time this week that Abbas has made a positive gesture
On Monday night in Tunisia, the PA president said that Netanyahu was
his “partner for peace.” On Tuesday, he and PA Prime Minister Salam
Fayyad sent Netanyahu separate condolence letters. They were among
the first government leaders to do so.
Communication between Netanyahu and Palestinian leaders is rare, even
though Ramallah is located just outside of Jerusalem.
Netanyahu’s relationship with the PA has been strained since he took
office. The two men last met face to face in September 2010. He has
not met in person with Fayyad since taking office.
The Palestinians have insisted that they will not speak directly with
Israel until it halts West Bank settlement activity and Jewish
building in east Jerusalem.
Israel in turn has called on the Palestinian leadership to hold
direct negotiations without preconditions.
Separately on Thursday, Netanyahu received condolence notices from a
number of Egyptian officials, including Prime Minister Kamal al-
Ganzur, its military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and
intelligence chief Morad Muwafi.
Netanyahu has cancelled all of his diplomatic and political
appointments this week so that he can observe the seven-day mourning
period for his father.
He will return to work on Monday when the weekly cabinet meeting will
be held rather than on Sunday. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post
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