Kahlon meets with senior PA officials in Ramallah
Kahlon meets with senior PA officials in Ramallah Jason Greenblatt

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) met with senior Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah Sunday night, including PA premier Rami Hamdallah.

The meeting took place despite a declaration earlier this month by the Netanyahu government that Israel would not negotiate with the PA following the signing of the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal.

"In accordance with previous decisions, the Israeli government will not conduct diplomatic negotiations with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas, a terrorist organization which calls for the destruction of Israel," the Cabinet said in a statement.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also declared that his coalition would not hold talks with the Fatah-Hamas unity government.

“We want peace; we want a genuine peace and because of this, we will not conduct negotiations with a terrorist organization in diplomatic disguise."

No official statement was made by the Israeli government regarding the meeting, but on Monday, White House special envoy Jason Greenblatt tweeted a photograph taken during the gathering.

Aside from Minister Kahlon, the Israeli delegation included the Defense Ministry’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) chief Major General Yoav Mordechai, and Finance Ministry Director-General Shai Babad.

The Israeli leaders met with senior PA officials including premier Rami Hamdallah, PA intelligence chief Majid Faraj, and Civilian Affairs chief Hussein a-Shikeh.

Greenblatt praised the meeting, tweeting that “important progress” had been made.

Important progress last night between Israeli & Palestinian sides led by Rami Hamdalla & Kahlon Moshe & Gen Mordechai of Cogat_Israel. Meaningful steps forward on key economic issues - revenues, customs, and investment - that help support the search for peace.

On October 18th, Greenblatt appeared to express agreement with Israel’s decision not to negotiate with a joint Fatah-Hamas government, saying that all factions within the PA must adhere to past agreements – including the disarming of terror groups.

"All parties agree that it is essential that the Palestinian Authority be able to assume full, genuine, and unhindered civil and security responsibilities in Gaza and that we work together to improve the humanitarian situation for Palestinians living there," Greenblatt said.

"The United States reiterates the importance of adherence to the Quartet principles: any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognize the State of Israel, accept previous agreements and obligations between the parties – including to disarm terrorists – and commit to peaceful negotiations.

"If Hamas is to play any role in a Palestinian government, it must accept these basic requirements."