Israeli and Palestinian Government Ministers Meet for First Time in Years

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Israeli and Palestinian government ministers met for the first time in several years on Wednesday, marking a change of direction for Israel’s new government.

The Algemeiner reports that Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and Minister of Environmental Protection Tamar Zandberg met with their Palestinian counterparts in Jerusalem, with the approval of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

This is in stark contrast to the previous government led by Benjamin Netanyahu, which maintained no governmental contacts with the PA for a year-and-a-half, relying instead on security officials.

Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas last spoke in 2017.

A senior government official said that the meeting was a conscious change of policy.

“The political echelon is signaling that it’s interested in advancing steps to strengthen the PA, and after many years there is legitimacy to talking with the Palestinians and [Abbas],” he said. “It’s a kind of renaissance.”

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