Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz considered, on Saturday, that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, by giving Tel Aviv one year to withdraw from the 1967 territories, “climbed a tree that was difficult to get down from.”
This came during Gantz’s comment to the private Israeli channel “13” on Abbas’s speech, Friday, before the United Nations General Assembly at its 76th session, which began on Tuesday.
Gantz added, “That he (Abbas) continues to call for a political solution is a good thing, but he issued an ultimatum and climbed a tree that is difficult to get down from.”
In a televised address to the United Nations General Assembly, Abbas said that “the Israeli occupation authorities have one year to withdraw from the 1967 territories, including East Jerusalem.”
He added that the Palestinians “are ready to work during this year to demarcate borders and end all final status issues under the auspices of the International Quartet, in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy.”
And he added, “If this is not achieved, why does recognition of Israel remain based on the 1967 borders?”
Abbas’ warning came due to the lack of a political horizon for a solution and the stalled negotiations between the two sides since 2014, and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s assertion of his unwillingness to establish an independent Palestinian state during his reign.
On the possibility of him meeting Abbas again, Gantz said: “My meeting with him was for security purposes, to ensure stability on the ground, and I will do so again if necessary.”
Gantz and Abbas met in the West Bank city of Ramallah at the end of last month.
Negotiations have been suspended between the two sides since April 2014; For Israel’s refusal to release former detainees, stop settlements, and accept the pre-June 1967 war borders as a basis for the two-state solution (Israeli and Palestinian).