Netanyahu, Abbas speak first time in 13 months

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the phone, the first time the two have spoken in more than a year.

Netanyahu phoned Abbas on July 17 to wish him a happy Eid al-Fitr, Haaretz reported. Eid al-Fitr is the Muslim holiday that ends the holy month of Ramadan.

During the call, Netanyahu said Israel’s citizens want peace and Israel will continue to act to ensure stability in the region.

Abbas said it was important to reach a peace deal in the coming year, Haaretz reported, citing a Palestinian news agency. The two leaders had not spoken directly since June 2014, when Abbas called Netanyahu to say he condemned the kidnapping of three Jewish teenagers in the West Bank. — jta