President Abbas and Defence Minister Gantz meet in occupied West Bank’s central city Ramallah to discuss security coordination ahead of Muslim holiday Eid al Adha and US president's Mideast tour.

Gantz (L) met with Abbas (R) a couple of times last year and announced measures to improve economic conditions in the Israel-occupied West Bank.
Gantz (L) met with Abbas (R) a couple of times last year and announced measures to improve economic conditions in the Israel-occupied West Bank. (AP)

Palestine's President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz have met in the occupied West Bank to discuss security coordination ahead of US President Joe Biden's visit to the region next week.

Abbas "stressed the importance of creating a political horizon, respecting the signed agreements and stopping the actions and measures that lead to the deterioration of the situation," Hussein al Sheikh, a senior aide, tweeted on Thursday

Abbas also stressed the importance of having a "calm atmosphere before President Biden's visit, which we welcome," the tweet said.

The peace process collapsed more than a decade ago. 

High-level meetings between Israeli and Palestinian leaders are rare and tend to focus on day-to-day economic and security coordination.

An Israeli statement said Thursday's meeting in Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authority is headquartered, was conducted in "positive terms." 

It said the two sides agreed to "continue security coordination and to avoid activities that may cause instability."

Gantz wished Abbas and the Palestinian people a happy Eid al Adha, a Muslim holiday beginning this weekend, the statement said.

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Biden to meet Palestinian, Israeli officials

Gantz met with Abbas a couple of times last year and announced measures to improve economic conditions in the Israel-occupied West Bank. 

He remains defence minister in a caretaker government ahead of elections planned for November 1.

Abbas leads the Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the occupied West Bank. Polls say nearly 80 percent of Palestinians want him to resign, in part because of his close cooperation with Israel. Last year he called off the first Palestinian elections in 15 years.

Biden is expected to meet with top Israeli and Palestinian leaders next week.

Israeli occupation 

The Palestinians seek a state in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, territories Israel captured in the 1967 war.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognised internationally and views the entire city as its capital. 

It withdrew soldiers and illegal settlers from Gaza in 2005 but imposed a crippling blockade when the resistance group Hamas gained power from Abbas' forces two years later, in elections, limiting his authority to parts of the occupied West Bank.

READ MORE: US delegation visits Palestine's president

Source: AP