Silvan Shalom and Saeb Erekat meet in Amman to ‘break the ice’ in attempt to restart peace talks; Netanyahu, Abbas okayed meeting.

Minister Silvan Shalom, who was appointed Israel’s negotiator with the Palestinians, met in secret with his counterpart in the Palestinian Authority, Saeb Erekat, in Jordan on Thursday.

Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were aware of the meeting, which was held in Amman, and approved it.

The meeting was held in an attempt to once again restart the halted peace process. Israeli officials said “the meeting was meant to break the ice and see how we could move forward.”

Saeb Erekat, left, and Silvan Shalom (Photos: EPA, Ido Erez)
Saeb Erekat, left, and Silvan Shalom (Photos: EPA, Ido Erez)


Last weekend, Netanyahu and Abbas spoke on the phone for the first time since the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli yeshiva students over a year ago. This call eventually helped lead to the meeting.

Since the fourth Netanyahu government’s formation, Minister Shalom has been saying that if the Palestinians were serious and willing to hold a true negotiation without preconditions, they will find a real partner in Israel.

Israel has been under pressure to take confidence-building measures towards the Palestinians. Shalom, meanwhile, asserted that confidence-building measures and eased restrictions should be based on reciprocity.

He said it did not make sense for Israel to take confidence-building measures on the one hand, while the Palestinians turn to the International Criminal Court at The Hague and to FIFA on the other hand to continue making unilateral moves against Israel.

As reported by Ynetnews