Head of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party’s Young Guard, David Shayan, fired his deputy Yoel Nagar on Monday for meeting behind his back with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

Nagar and at least one other key Likud activist came to Ramallah with a group organized by Peace Now that included MKs from the Zionist Union and Meretz parties. Peace Now Secretary-General Shaked Morag said the Likud activists had asked her to take them so they could learn the point of view of the Palestinians.

Shayan said he was “surprised and shocked” to learn about Nagar meeting with Abbas from the press and that he went not as an individual, but within his role in Likud.

“Abbas is a terror supporter who names public squares after murderers,” Shayan said. “He is an antisemite and a Holocaust denier, who does not recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people. Those who hold formal positions in the Likud’s Young Guard cannot join a meeting with a man like that.”

Shayan said he told Nagar that he had crossed a red line in violating the Young Guard’s policies, and he understood the decision. But Nagar defended his decision to go meet the Palestinian leader.

“I wanted to see with my own eyes if Abbas is really a terror-supporting Holocaust denier,” Nagar said. “I believe an agreement can be reached with him. The Likud unfortunately is going to extreme Right, and to tell you the truth, it scares me.”

Nagar said many Likud activists and even MKs had called, supporting him. But he said he did not believe any Likud MK would dare defend him publicly.

Morag and Peace Now did come to his defense. She said the fact that Nagar and other Likud activists came with her to Ramallah gave her hope that there are those in the party who back reaching a diplomatic agreement.

“It is shocking to once again see the Likud fall to a new moral low in firing a party activist for wanting to hear the other side, while Netanyahu has dialogue with Hamas,” Morag said.

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