Israel’s foreign minister Yair Lapid met with senior Palestinian Authority official Hussein al-Sheikh on Sunday night, in the latest in a series of meetings between senior Israeli and Palestinian officials.
“I met this evening with Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid and we discussed several political and bilateral issues. I highlighted the need for a political horizon between the two parties based on international law”, al-Sheikh announced in a statement.
Lapid’s office declined to comment but has not denied the reports.
Al-Sheikh is one of PA president Mahmoud Abbas’s closest advisers, and directs the PA office responsible for handling ties with Israel.
Hamas condemned the meeting as a sign of “the depths to which the Palestinian Authority has fallen”, calling them “shameful” and “absurd”.
Senior Israeli and Palestinian officials rarely met in the Netanyahu era, which came to an end in June 2021.
However, several minsters in Israel’s new coalition government have met with Palestinian counterparts, including defence minister Benny Gantz.
Gantz has met with PA president Mahmoud Abbas twice since June, including in Israel itself.
Both meetings were followed by announcements to strengthen the Palestinian economy.
After the meeting on Sunday, al-Sheikh said that 500 undocumented West Bank residents would receive Palestinian identification cards.