Palestinians 'encouraged' by Netanyahu rival's settlement remarks

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman gave a cautious welcome on Wednesday to remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s closest election rival suggesting openness to a future removal of settlements from the occupied West Bank.

“It’s encouraging, if he succeeds and he sticks to this opinion,” Nabil Abu Rdeineh told Reuters after ex-general Benny Gantz, discussing accommodation with the Palestinians, told an Israeli newspaper he opposed dominating another people and suggested Israel might repeat its 2005 removal of Gaza settlers.

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