By ILAN BEN ZION and LAURIE KELLMAN
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s defense minister has held talks with the Palestinian president in the occupied West Bank, the first high-level meeting between the two sides in years. On Monday he approved a series of measures to bolster the Palestinian economy. Sunday’s meeting in Ramallah between Benny Gantz and Mahmoud Abbas signaled a possible shift after the near-complete breakdown in communication between Abbas and Israeli leaders in recent years. That rift had opened under former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-line policy toward the Palestinians, backed by former President Donald Trump. Both countries have new leaders in place. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met in Washington last week.