Indyk has attended Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, new meeting scheduled

JERUSALEM (JTA) –The U.S. envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks has attended a negotiating session, the U.S. State Department said, in advance of a scheduled meeting.

The Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams reportedly will meet on Tuesday, following a meeting held on Saturday in Jerusalem.

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“Israeli and Palestinian delegations have been meeting continuously since final status negotiations resumed on July 29,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Sunday in a statement, according to Israeli media reports.

“The negotiations have been serious, and U.S. Special Envoy Martin Indyk and his team have been fully briefed on the bilateral talks and also participated in a bilateral negotiating session. As we have said in the past, we are not planning to read out the details of these meetings,” she also said in the statement.

The peace talks have been under a nearly complete media blackout since their resumption, reportedly at the request of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. A session of the talks reportedly was postponed last week after the deaths of three Palestinians during clashes in the Qalandiya refugee camp; the State Department denied that there had been any change in the negotiation schedule following the deaths.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday told his Fatah Party officials that the Palestinians are negotiating with Israel for a state on the pre-1967 lines with eastern Jerusalem as its capital, which he called a “red line,” Israel Radio reported. .

Abbas also said that the Palestinian Authority agreed not to seek statehood from and membership in international organizations in exchange for the release of 104 prisoners held in Israeli jails. He said negotiators will ask for the release of about 250 other prisoners as well.

Fatah official Nabil Shaath told the Palestinian Maan news agency on Monday that the peace talks have not made any progress, and that the Israeli side has not presented any new suggestions or proposals. He said the PA could turn to international organizations of negotiations do not bear fruit.