Abbas arranged phone call between Israeli and Turkish presidents, Israeli media says

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas arranged a phone call between Israel’s new President Isaac Herzog and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday, Israel Hayom reported.

The Israeli newspaper said that it learned on Tuesday from sources privy to the matter that Abbas was the person who arranged the phone call between Herzog and Erdogan on Monday.

Abbas met with Erdogan last week during a three-day diplomatic visit to Ankara.

Israeli media claimed, however, that what motivated Abbas was most likely an attempt to keep Erdogan from working with Hamas.

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has always been a major issue between Jerusalem and Ankara,” Karel Valansi, a political commentator for Turkish online outlet T24, told Israel Hayom.

“But in the last decade especially, it became part of the domestic politics with a huge vote potential for all political parties in Turkey. Even the potential of energy cooperation could not pass this block.”

“The personal animosity between Erdogan and [former Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu did not leave much space to normalize the bilateral relations,” she said.

“Ankara was looking for a new name to work with, and now Israel has a new government and also a new president. I expected a positive development between the two countries following the last elections in Israel, and it came about as a phone conversation between Herzog and Erdogan.”

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