Flash90/Noam Moskowitz
Sheikh Jabari at a previous meeting with Jewish leaders. (illustrative) (Flash90/Noam Moskowitz)

A leading Palestinian businessman served a kosher spread to his Israeli guests at a traditional fast-breaking “Iftar” meal, which Muslims eat during the holy month of Ramadan.

By United with Israel Staff

On Monday, Palestinian businessman Sheikh Ashraf Jabari hosted several key Israeli leaders from Judea and Samaria for an Iftar meal, the festive meal Muslims throughout the world enjoy upon breaking their dawn-to-dusk fasts throughout the month-long Ramadan festival.

Among Jabari’s guests were Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, Hebron Jewish community leader Yishai Fleisher, and Heather Johnston, who leads the Israel-US Friendship Association (USEIA), in addition to members of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Judea and Samaria (JSC), reported Arutz Sheva.

“It is a great honor to host all of you in my home,” said Jabari, according to the Arutz Sheva report. “This meal is a reinforcement in light of the ongoing trend in which the economic-business relationship and the strengthening of relations and friendship lead us all to a more positive place.”

Jabari added, “Breaking the fast together at a joint meal in Hebron clearly symbolizes our ability to bridge all gaps.”

The meals is yet another example of the growing trend of Palestinian business leaders choosing to set aside political issues to focus on improving economic prospects for the Arab sector.

A byproduct of the willingness of people like Jabari to work with Israelis are cultural events like the Iftar meal in Hebron, which featured kosher food so that the Orthodox Jewish Israelis could enjoy the feast as well.

Dagan, along with co-founder of the JSC Avi Zimmerman, stressed the importance of economic ties between Israeli and Palestinian business leaders.

Dagan mentioned “economic, human, industrial and economic investment,” while Zimmerman commented, “We are acting out of a vision to bring about mutual fertilization and equal partnership in all economic-business aspects between Israelis and Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.”

The meal arrives just three months after an economic forum in Jerusalem that featured Israeli leaders from Judea and Samaria and Palestinian Muhathars charged with overseeing local and municipal-level initiatives.