A former minister in the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah has claimed that officials have had "secret talks" with their Israeli counterparts. According to Ashraf Al-Ajrami, the ex-minister of prisoners' affairs, the meeting took place at the home of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
During a workshop organised by the "Geneva Initiative" in the Israeli Knesset, Al-Ajrami said: "I want to reveal a secret; we have conducted negotiations with Netanyahu at his house. The PLO Executive Committee's Secretary General, Yasser Abed-Rabbo, represented us." The ex-minister said that the direct talks between Netanyahu and Abed-Rabbo lasted for "several" hours.
On Sunday, Abed-Rabbo himself revealed that the Palestinian Authority is ready to take "unprecedented" measures regarding negotiations with Israel. Maariv newspaper reported his comments made at a meeting with Israeli journalists in Ramallah. The PLO official believes that US Secretary of State John Kerry's latest tour to the region ushered in the prospect of "positive results" for the Palestinians. He called on both the PA and Israel to "soften" their stance in order to kick-start fresh negotiations.
The "Geneva Initiative" brought together Palestinian officials and Israelis from the Likud and Shas political parties.