Peace negotiators meet with no signs of progress; more meetings scheduled

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators met for three hours without U.S. mediation in an effort to resume peace negotiations.

The meeting Sunday night reportedly ended without any signs of progress. Meetings are scheduled to resume on either Tuesday evening or Wednesday evening, when U.S. envoy to the peace talks, Martin Indyk, is set to return to the region and attend, the French news agency AFP reported, citing an unnamed Palestinian source close to the talks. Indyk had returned to Washington last week for consultations

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Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority broke down following Israel’s failure to meet a March 29 deadline to release 26 prisoners, the final batch of 104 that Israel had pledged to release as part of the talks. Following the missed deadline, the Palestinian Authority applied to join 15 international conventions, an apparent violation of the agreement between Israel and the Palestinians to resume negotiations. In response, Israel late last week said it would freeze the transfer of taxes it collects on the Palestinians’ behalf.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Ma’an news service reported Monday that during the previous evening’s peace negotiations, Israeli peace negotiator Tzipi Livni demanded that the Palestinians withdraw their applications to the international conventions, which the Palestinians rejects, and that Palestinian negotiators demanded complete freeze on building in Jewish settlements in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank, before being willing to discuss other issues.

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