Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telephoned Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas over the weekend to wish him a happy Ramadan holiday.
“I called to send you my blessings for Ramadan,” Netanyahu said, according to a statement from his office. “I hope that we will have the opportunity to talk to each other not only on holidays, and we will begin negotiations. This is important.”
“I hope Secretary of State [John] Kerry’s efforts will show results,” he said, referring to the latest intensive peace push by America’s top diplomat.
The call was one gesture among several recently made by the Israeli prime minister, with an eye on restarting peace talks. Last week it was reported that Netanyahu offered to release 40 terrorists as a confidence building measure.
Some observers expressed skepticism that Netanyahu’s overtures would be reciprocated:
Bibi wishes Abbas Ramadan Kareem. Abbas, recognizing Jewish ties to J’lem, wishes Bibi a meaningful Tisha B’av fast.(Naw, not really) #Jpost
— Herb Keinon (@HerbKeinon) July 14, 2013
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) July 15, 2013
The second tweet is a reference to Palestinian incitement, including statements by Abbas, denying a Jewish connection to Jerusalem. Palestinian officials regularly and specifically insist that the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem – the holiest site in Judaism – never existed.
[Photo: IsraeliPM / Youtube]