Gantz responds to Abbas: It will be difficult to get off that ledge

Defense Minister criticizes PA chairman's threat to Israel, but adds he would continue to meet with him if necessary.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz
Elad Malka

Defense Minister Benny Gantz was interviewed on Channel 13 News on Saturday night and responded to the speech of Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas at the UN General Assembly.

"The fact that Abbas continues to call for a diplomatic solution is good, but he issued an ultimatum and climbed a ledge that will be difficult to get off," said Gantz, who did not rule out the possibility that he would meet with the PA chairman again if necessary.

"It is important to remember one thing," Gantz continued. "No one is going anywhere. It is important to recognize this and the only way to deal with this reality is to develop security, develop the economy and strengthen the governance of the Palestinian Authority."

Regarding the possibility of meeting Abbas again, he said that "my meeting with him was intended for security purposes, to ensure stability on the ground and I will do it again if necessary."

The Defense Minister also addressed the issue of the Iranian threat and the negotiations between the United States and Iran on a new nuclear agreement.

"I think it is important that we understand that the issue is a matter of statesmanship and not of small politics. It is important to remember that Iran is a global and regional problem but also a problem of the State of Israel, I do not underestimate the threat to Israel but we as a country must ensure and make efforts that we do not deal with this issue alone - but in an international partnership. I met with both sides of the US House of Representatives and given that it is not possible to reach a broader agreement, I hope that the Americans and the Europeans will understand that there should be a Plan B."

"The State of Israel is prepared to address the problem. The public in Israel knows that we are preparing for all possibilities. Everything must be done to ensure to the world, the region and Israel that Iran does not reach military nuclear capability and there are ways to achieve it. We have existing capabilities to address the Iranian problem. I am in a position where what matters is my actions and decisions and not what article I publish in which newspaper."

Commenting on the vote in the House of Representatives on funding for the Iron Dome system, Gantz said, "On the issue of the interceptors, I'm glad I got a warm shoulder. In the end, things progressed but we must remember that our relationship with the United States rests on a system of common interests and values."