PM offers condolences to Abbas over brother's death

Netanyahu expresses hope that 2 leaders will move peace process forward; Haniyeh also offers condolences in rare phone call.

January 4, 2011 15:19
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

netanyahu stinkeye 311. (photo credit: Haim Tzach)


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday telephoned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and offered his condolences for the death of Abbas' brother, Ata.

"I feel your deep pain, and I hope you will not know any other sorrow," Netanyahu said. Netanyahu's brother, Yonatan, was killed in 1976 during Operation Entebbe at Entebbe airport, by Ugandan soldiers, when the Israeli military rescued hostages after an aircraft hijacking.

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Netanyahu also expressed hope that together the two leaders would be able to move the peace process forward.

"We are neighbors, and I believe with all my heart that with shared efforts, and a strong desire, we can reach a true peace between our two nations," Netanyahu said.

On Monday Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh made a rare phone call to Abbas to also offer condolences for the death of Abbas' brother.

The brief call was the first time the men have spoken since immediately after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa said the president's older brother, Atta Rida Shehada Abbas, died Monday morning in Damascus. It did not give his age. President Abbas, 76, will receive mourners at his Ramallah office on Wednesday, it said.

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