No longer secret

After a long break in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, on Friday 1st April Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 television that he is ready to hold a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"I will meet with him, at any time. And I suggested, by the way, for him to meet,"

President of the Palestinian AuthorityMahmoud Abbas (photo from Wiki Commons)

When asked about Netanyahu’s response to this proposal, Abbas is reported to have said:

"It's a secret. He can tell you about it."

But now it seems that Benjamin Netanyahu’s response is no longer secret. During a reception for the Czech Foreign Minister on Monday 4th April, Netanyahu said:

“A few days ago on Israeli television I heard President Abbas say that if I invite him to meet he’ll come …
I am inviting him – again. I’ve cleared my schedule this week. Any day he can come, I’ll be here.”

But there may be a snag, because Benjamin Netanyahu went on to say:

“Now we have a lot of things to discuss. But the first item is ending the Palestinian campaign of incitement to murder Israelis. My door is always open to those who want to pursue peace with Israel.”

So now the question is whether Mahmoud Abbas will accept this invitation, if the first thing to be discussed is that he and other Palestinian leaders stop making statements that incite young Palestinians to violence against Israelis.