“I know that a large percentage of Palestinians are interested in the program and applying sovereignty, and even pray for it,” said Israeli-Arab peace activist Sara Zoabi.
Last week, Samaria Council Chairman Yossi Dagan hosted several prominent Muslims to mark the traditional Iftar meal and celebrate Lag Ba’Omer, Israel National News reported Sunday.
The Iftar meal, held to end the fast each day during the holy month of Ramadan, was attended by Sheikh Abu Khalil Tamimi of Ramallah, labor leader Mohammed Massad of Jenin, Israeli-Arab activist Sara Zoabi and several other Muslims whose identities were kept confidential for fear of reprisals by anti-Israel Palestinians.
The host and his guests discussed the Trump peace plan and its impact as well as other key issues facing the two sides, including eradicating terror and incitement, and ways promote peace and cooperation.
Zoabi, known for her pro-Israel work, thanked Dagan for the initiative to bring the two sides together.
“I think the deal of the century is the right thing for Arabs and Israelis,” she said. “I know that a large percentage of Palestinians are interested in the program and applying sovereignty, and even pray for it.”
“Terror is the result of Palestinian Authority incitement,” Dagan said. “We work with local leaders and sheikhs who oppose the PA and oppose the path of terror. We have disagreements and there are many things where we see eye to eye,” he said, adding shared dialogue was important for those willing to consider partnering for peace.
Dagan said the Muslims present represented leaders “who are interested in quiet and in coexistence” and were an “alternative to the murderous Palestinian Authority.” The economic models called for in the Trump plan were already in place in the industrial areas of Judea and Samaria, Dagan explained, describing the Palestinians who work there as “our natural partners for co-living here.”
Sheikh Tamimi said sovereignty for settlements in Judea and Samaria was nothing new to the Arabs.
“I believe that sovereignty exists in the 1967 region and I think the situation must be dealt with through dialogue and promotion of coexistence. To stop the spread of hatred. For the average Palestinian, sovereignty is meaningless because Israel has been in control of Area C since 1967, so there’s nothing new here,” he said, referring to areas in Judea and Samaria that are under complete Israeli control.
“Most Palestinians also want to live in peace and to reach good political agreements and solutions as quickly as possible. This is what the average Palestinian thinks about the Deal of the Century and sovereignty,” he said. “We want to get ready for the regional changes, to concentrate on economic cooperation also with the settlers … we need to think together what our common future will look like.”
Muhammad Masad, who heads a Palestinian Workers Union with 40,000 members, said his job is to maintain the rights of Palestinian workers even after Israel applies sovereignty.
“The Palestinian workers are against terror, and against the corruption of the Palestinian Authority,” Masad said, adding that if Israeli and Palestinian workers keep working together through good and bad times, “then our children will be ashamed of the fight. Peace negotiations will not be necessary because there is peace.”