Two weeks before his resignation, former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman met with top Palestinian Authority officials, Kan News reported. In the meetings, Liberman discussed with PA ministers Majad Faraj and Hussein al-Sheikh various policy issues. Quoting the PA ministers, the report said that Liberman gave no hint of his intention to resign.
The meeting, the report said, was organized by Liberman, who apparently was seeking to reach out to the PA officials. At the meeting, Liberman sought to differentiate between himself and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, saying “I am not on the far-right,” and offering various policy changes to improve relations between Israel and the PA, centered around increased economic assistance for Area A, which is under complete PA control.
The PA ministers said they wanted more, including an end to IDF raids in Area A, and the advancement of projects in Area C, as well as renegotiation of some of the economic protocols between Israel and the PA. Liberman said he would take the requests under advisement and return with answers – something that never happened, as he quit before that could take place. The ministers said they had no indication that Liberman was about to resign.
Liberman denied the story, telling Kan News that he “regrets that the information was not checked properly, and that I was not consulted, as is customary before such stories are broadcast.
“The meeting as it was portrayed did not take place. As part of his job, a defense minister keeps connections with all security-related matters and individuals, including those in the PA. But the events described here did not take place.”