President Rivlin with PA President Abbas.
(photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin and Palestinian Authority President Mahmous Abbas were seen in a video posted on the Facebook page Ramallah News, greeting one another before the funeral of former president Shimon Peres at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on Friday.
The two shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. Rivlin turned to PLO Executive Committee Secretary General Saeb Erakat and stated, "I hope to see you," in which Erakat responded, "anytime, you can get in touch."
"I really believe that it is a time to build confidence," Rivlin continued. "We have to believe that everyone is serious."
According to Rivlin's spokesperson Abbas also expressed desire that the two meet under different circumstances.
The exchange contrasted Abbas's refusal to meet with Rivlin
while the two simultaneously visited the European Union's main headquarters in Brussels, earlier this year in June.
The two had walked down the halls of the same buildings to discuss resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, yet there was no interaction between the two men.
Abbas was accompanied to the funeral by PLO Executive Committee Secretary General Saeb Erakat, Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh, and Palestinian Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society Muhammed al-Madani.
PA General Intelligence Services chief Majid Faraj was set to attend however was in a car accident on the way over. PA Security Forces spokesman Adnan al-Damiri said he suffered light injuries.
Abbas was also seen shaking hands
with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the funeral.
Though Rivlin and Netanyahu greeted Abbas, Education Minister Naftali Bennett had different views.
Bennett tweeted on Friday, "I don't understand why Israeli's stood in line to shake the hand of Abu Mazen, [Abbas], who encourages the murder of Israelis while paying the salary of the killers."
Adam Rasgon, Tovah Lazaroff and Greer Fay Cashman contributed to this report.