Rivlin calls for direct negotiations between Israel and Abbas


Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has spoken of the need for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Speaking on Monday, President Rivlin said he was willing to meet with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority President , as part of this goal, and described Abbas’ recent speech about street violence as “a little more promising”.

"He [Abbas] said he believed that it was necessary to stop all types of terror and find a way back to negotiations. But as long as Abu Mazen [Abbas] believes in fundamentalism and doesn't abandon the aim to destroy Israel or the Hamas ideology that there is no way to accept Israel, or that only a ceasefire is possible with Israel, then we will get nowhere," President Rivlin said.

Last Thursday President Abbas told Channel 2: "Our security forces go into the schools to search pupils' bags and see if they have knives. You don't know this.

"In one school, we found 70 boys and girls who were carrying knives. We took the knives and spoke to them and said: 'This is a mistake. We do not want you to kill and be killed. We want you to live, and for the other side to live as well.'"

President Rivlin added that the two parties needed to find a way to build “mutual trust” in order to reach a solution. "Without mutual trust between the sides there won't be negotiations and there won't be a solution," he said.

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