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Report: Israeli, Palestinian negotiators met in Jericho

Aug. 27, 2013 2:04 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 29, 2013 9:49 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met in Jericho on Monday to discuss the peace process, despite an announcement by the PLO that talks had been canceled following the killing of three Palestinians earlier in the day.

A Palestinian official, who chose to remain anonymous, told the Xinhua News Agency that the two negotiation teams met in the house of chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in Jericho.

"Erekat presented to his Israeli counterparts a string protest to the earlier killing of three Palestinians by the Israeli soldiers' gunfire in northern Ramallah," the source said.

The US State Department, which is mediating the talks, insisted that no meeting planned as part of the ongoing peace process had been cancelled.

"I can assure you that no meeting has been cancelled," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters in Washington.

"As we have said the parties are engaged in serious and sustained negotiations," Harf said.

"We are not going to announce when every meeting takes place. But again I can assure you that no meeting has been cancelled."

Earlier, a Palestinian official told AFP that "the meeting that was to take place in Jericho ... today was cancelled because of the Israeli crime committed in Qalandia today," referring to the killing of three Palestinians in an overnight arrest raid.

Israel's Channel 2 news reported that a meeting had taken place between negotiators on Monday after the killings in Qalandia, but Israel tried to minimize coverage to avoid embarrassing the Palestinian side.
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