Israeli, Palestinian negotiators agree to meet again

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met face to face for the first time in more than a year and agreed to meet again.

Yitzhak Molcho, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s personal envoy to the negotiations with the Palestinians, and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat held a meeting Tuesday in Amman, Jordan, with representatives of the Mideast Quartet.

Molcho, an attorney, and Erekat also met with Jordan’s foreign minister, Nasser Judeh. They were to discuss issues such as borders and security, The Associated Press reported.

No statements were issued at the end of the meetings, but the sides reportedly agreed to meet again next week in Jordan. 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday in Ramallah before the start of the Amman meeting that if Israel does not meet his conditions, "we will take new measures." He said the measures could be "difficult."

Erekat reportedly told journalists Monday that there will be no progress in the talks unless Israel agrees to halt construction in settlements in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, and agree to the 1967 lines as the border of a Palestinian state. Israel has called for negotiations to resume without preconditions.

The Quartet has set a Jan. 26 deadline for the resumption of direct negotiations. The Palestinians also have called for Israel to meet its conditions and resume negotiations by Jan. 26.

Earlier Tuesday, tenders for 312 apartments in eastern Jerusalem were published by the Israel Lands Authority. The new housing was announced two weeks ago.
 

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