Yoaz Hendel: 'Abbas is a terror supporter and pays terrorists'

Communications Min. says Israel has interest in supporting Palestinian Authority economy. YESHA Council leader: Would you meet a Holocaust denier?'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yoaz Hendel
Yoaz Hendel
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel (New Hope) on Monday morning explained why Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) traveled to Ramallah to meet Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

According to him, Israel has a clear interest in improving the PA economy.

"Abbas is a terror supporter," Hendel told Kan Reshet Bet. "You cannot transfer salaries to terrorists and think that that's a humanitarian act. This has been going on for years. I myself was in the Cabinet in the previous government, and I saw how each time they 'calculate' how much to take off the funds [transferred to the Palestinian Authority], and we have a huge challenge."

"On the one hand, we don't want the PA to collapse. On the other, they are always flirting with terrorists and transferring salaries. The message that Israel has been sending since the Oslo Accords, all of the prime ministers, is that the PA is our interest and therefore there have been an infinite number of meetings with Abbas throughout the years, there were meetings like this, including by [former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, and they didn't put them in the spotlight."

"We have a vested interest. We understand that the Palestinians, on the one hand, we need to strengthen them economically, and on the other hand we need to understand that they are not the solution to what's happening here. Our interest is the most important thing. We have an interest that they manage to get rid of their garbage. We have a clear interest that the Palestinian Authority be strong. We have an interest in weakening Hamas and a clear interest in taking control, from a security perspective, of the entire area and being able to stop terrorists in Jenin and Ramallah."

YESHA Council Chairman David Elhayani told Galei Israel Radio: "I have a very serious problem with what Gantz did yesterday. To meet with a Holocaust denier and a a corrupt person? There was no thought in the Defense Ministry. You want to strengthen the Palestinian economy? Build roads, don't transfer hundreds of millions that will be used to build palaces for the corrupt people there."

He added: "I can tell you with absolute certainty that when we publicized the approval of construction for the Palestinians, it was Gantz's decision, not [Israeli Prime Minister Naftali] Bennett's decision. What did you expect Bennett to do when Gantz called him up and told him that he's at the entrance to Ramallah? To tell him not to enter?"