RAMALLAH : Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held another secret round of peace talks over the weekend, a Palestinian official said on Monday, adding that there had been "no breakthrough" so far.
"A round of talks was held on Saturday evening between the Israelis and Palestinians - this is the fourth round," since they restarted more than a month ago, the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"But the talks have achieved no breakthrough so far," the official added. He said another meeting was likely to be held on Tuesday, but slammed Israel, saying it was "not prepared for any progress" any time soon. The official gave no details of the time and place of Tuesday's expected meeting. Talks between the two sides, which were relaunched during initial meetings in Washington at the end of July after intense diplomatic efforts by the US, have taken place under a US-imposed media blackout.
Israel released 26 long-term Palestinian prisoners ahead of the first bilateral talks held in Jerusalem on August 14, the first batch of mostly pre-1993 Oslo accords inmates who will be released in stages depending on progress in negotiations.
But the Jewish state at the same time angered Palestinian negotiators by announcing it would build more than 2,000 additional settler homes in the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem.
The last Palestinian-Israeli talks broke down in September 2010 over the settlements issue.
And last week, a Palestinian official told AFP that a meeting due to take place that day had been put on hold after Israeli forces shot three Palestinians dead during clashes in the Qalandiya refugee camp in the West Bank.