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Israel DM defends his meetings with Palestine president

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz (L) and Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority (R)
Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz (L) and Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority (R)

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz yesterday defended his recent meetings with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, saying they saved the souls of Israeli soldiers.

"Whoever does not send soldiers off to battle, and whoever does not show responsibility for the lives of Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers – better not criticize meetings that prevented and continue to prevent the next war and bring stability and freedom of national action upon us," Gantz said in a statement.

Gantz added: "Thanks to the security coordination carried out at the field levels, by the heads of the security directorates and myself – there are many civilians and lives that were saved."

Abbas Holocaust remarks in Berlin create storm of protest

He continued: "Whoever wants to turn away and ignore the complicated security and national situation – is unfit to take the wheal and lead the State of Israel."

This came following Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party posted on Twitter: "Abbas' Holocaust denial is shocking and dangerous, and the obsessive cooperation of Lapid and Gantz with him and his followers is equally dangerous."

While in Berlin this week, Abbas said that Israel has committed "50 massacres, 50 Holocausts" since 1972, "and to this day, every day, we have dead people killed by the Israeli army."

Gantz labelled Abbas' comments as "despicable and false" and said: "I demanded that he retract them and it is good that he did so."

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