MKs to meet Abbas in Ramallah despite terrorist attacks

Yesh Atid leader, Yair Lapid, vetoes participation of faction MKs in meeting; right-wing ministers blast scheduled visit.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (photo credit: REUTERS/ISSAM RIMAWI/POOL)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
A delegation of 14 Knesset members will meet in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday amid calls to cancel the visit due to the recent spate of terrorist attacks in the West Bank.
The delegation consists of lawmakers from Labor, Meretz, Hatnua, and Shas. No Yesh Atid MKs will go, because their party chairman, Yair Lapid, vetoed their participation.
Transportation Minister Israel Katz (Likud) and Deputy Education Minister Avraham Wortzman (Bayit Yehudi) called on the MKs not to go to Ramallah because it would reward Abbas for failing to stop the attacks.
“It is unacceptable that Abbas talks about the peace process while groups connected to his Fatah party are carrying out terrorist attacks in Israel that he does not do anything to prevent,” Katz said.
Wortzman asked Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to intervene and get the Ramallah visit canceled. He also complained to the organizer of the visit, Labor MK Hilik Bar, who heads the Knesset’s two-state lobby.
“Official representatives of the Knesset should not meet with the head of the PA, who by not condemning the terrorist attacks encourages the terrorists to continue with full force,” Wortzman wrote to Bar.
“Holding the meeting harms the wounded victim, her family, and the Israeli public as a whole.”
Bar responded that the visit was essential, especially after the attack, and that not coming to Ramallah would grant victory to the terrorists.
“In every peace process there are extremists who try to put spokes in the wheels,” Bar said.
“They don’t want peace or normalization.
Canceling the meeting would give them a prize. We need to end the conflict as soon as possible so that such dreadful attacks won’t happen in the future.”