The Palestinian Authority (PA) denies reports in the Israeli press according to which secret economic negotiations are being carried out between Israel and the PA.
Nimer Hamad, a political adviser to PA Head Mahmoud Abbas, told the QudsNet news agency that the reports in Israel regarding direct or secret negotiations are untrue and that the idea is not an acceptable one.
Hamad said the PA leadership had set certain criteria for negotiating with Israel and that these include retreat from the land that was occupied in 1967, a recognition of the PA as an independent state and a complete cessation of settlement activity.
The Israeli press had quoted PA sources as saying that the Ministry of Justice and the Palestinian Authority have been conducting negotiations for a long time and that they hope to sign a new economic agreement. The purpose of the contacts is an improvement of the Paris economic agreement signed by the sides in 1995.