Speaking at his weekly Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said U.S. President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Israel reflects the strong bond between the two nations. He welcomed Trump’s push to resume peace talks, but accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of “praising terrorists and paying them.”
The Palestinian “martyrs’ fund” pays about 35,000 families of Palestinians killed and wounded in the long-running conflict with Israel, and says the money amounts to welfare payments to victims. Israel has long said the payments glorify terrorism and provide an incentive to kill. Last week, Netanyahu urged Abbas to “fund peace and not murder.”
Since 2015, Palestinian attackers have killed 42 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British student, mainly in stabbing assaults. During that same time, Israeli forces have killed some 245 Palestinians. Israel has identified most of them as attackers.
Israel says the violence is fueled by a Palestinian campaign of incitement. Palestinians say it stems from anger over decades of Israeli rule.