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2nd round of Israeli-Palestinian talks end in Jerusalem

August 15, 2013, 5:12 UTC+3

The next round of talks will take place on the West Bank next week

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TEL AVIV, August 15 (Itar-Tass) - The 2nd round of direct Israeli-Palestinian talks have ended in Jerusalem.

According to mass media reports, Israel and Palestine reached agreement to hold the next meeting in the short run.

Israel’s delegation was led by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Palestine was represented by chief negotiator Saeb Erecat and Fatah key member Muhammad Shtaya.

The talks have been held in closed doors. Israeli Justice Ministry spokesperson Mia Bengal said no statement had been made due to the fact that the parties could work together without thinking about journalists.

The next round of talks will take place on the West Bank next week. Earlier, the meeting was scheduled to be held in Jericho.

Israel and Palestine stopped direct talks in September 2010 after Israelis refused to freeze the construction of settlements on the West Bank. In order to resume talks the U.S. Secretary of State had to make six tense visits from February 2013. The present talks started in Washington at the end of July.

Israel’s settlement policy darkens the talks. Palestine warns that the construction of settlements can collapse the talks. “The expansion of the settlements runs counter the American Administration’s pledges,” Secretary-General of the PLO Executive Committee Yasser Abd Rabbo said.

On Monday, August 12, the Israeli Interior Ministry approved the construction of 890 new apartments in Gilo - the settlement, which is considered Jerusalem’s area.

On August 11, Israeli Minister of Construction and Housing Uri Ariel authorised the construction of 394 housing in the settlements on the West Bank and 793 apartments in East Jerusalem.

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