PM Netanyahu shakes hands with Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas. (Martin Bureau/Pool Photo via AP) (Martin Bureau/Pool Photo via AP)
Netanyahu Abbas

While it seemed to be a pleasant handshake between leaders, Netanyahu said he had no illusions about Abba’s real intentions.     

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shook hands with Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas at the Paris Climate Conference on Monday night. This was the first time the two met face-to-face and shook hands in five years.

They reportedly exchanged a few words, but apparently nothing of significance transpired between them.

The meeting between the two leaders came as Israel is suffering from a wave of Palestinian terror attacks that has claimed the lives of 21 victims and wounded almost 200. The wave of attacks, Israel says, is driven by the Palestinian leadership’s incitement against Israel.

Netanyahu later explained that the impromptu meeting with Abbas occurred during a group photo of the 150 leaders who attended the conference.

“There is a protocol,” Netanyahu explained. “It is important that the world see that we are always ready to talk. But on the other side, I have no illusions about Abu Mazen [Abbas].”

Later on, while addressing the conference, Netanyahu related to the recent wave of Muslim terrorism that has struck at several Western cities, including Paris, and said that the world must address the driving force behind the attacks, the religiously motivated incitement. “Those who are committed to peace must fight incitement, must speak the truth.”

Addressing Abbas directly, Netanyahu said that “if President Abbas is committed to peace, he must stop inciting his people against Israel, and start condemning the murder of innocents in Israel.”

Abbas, on his part, told the conference that the Palestinians were still seeking peace with Israel, while he simultaneously called on the world to protect the Palestinians from Israel.

Netanyahu also discussed the issue of Palestinian incitement with President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry during a meeting in a corridor at the conference.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel