An Israeli delegation of negotiators with the Palestinian Authority (PA) said it will resume talks with Israel on Tuesday following a four-week deadline set by an Israeli court to reach a final deal before a scheduled July deadline.
The PA delegation, led by Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, said they will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday in Ramallah and that negotiations are scheduled to resume with Israel at a later date.
Al-Malik, who is also the chief negotiator for the PA, said in a statement that talks with Israeli government ministers are “on the agenda”.
“The talks will begin on Tuesday at 8:00 pm,” he said.
The Israeli government and Palestinian leaders had said they would begin talks on Monday.
The deadline for a final Palestinian-Israeli peace deal has been pushed back three times in a row, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas insisting that he was not ready to make peace with Israel until his terms were met.
Last month, Netanyahu’s government asked the High Court to lift a three-month-old Israeli ban on the PA releasing information about the final agreement.
The court, however, said that it would not take the matter to the Supreme Court, because the Palestinian government could not prove it had been told the terms of the agreement beforehand.
Israel’s High Court has not responded to the petition, but in March, a senior Israeli official told a newspaper the Palestinian delegation will make its request to Israel on Monday, when the deadline will have passed.
Al Jazeera’s Ze’ev Elkin, reporting from Ramallah, said Netanyahu’s decision to send an invitation to the PA delegation was not a new development but a change of tack.
“This is part of the shift in Netanyahu’s approach to negotiations,” he told Al Jazeera.
“The Israeli leadership has been trying to convince the Palestinians that this is the way forward.”
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, said on Thursday that Israel is ready to resume talks if it receives a “clear message from the Palestinians”.
“Israel will do whatever it takes to make the negotiations happen,” Prosor told reporters in New York.
Israel, which has occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank since 1967, annexed the territories and considers them its eternal capital in 1980.
Palestinians seek the return of their capital to their homes in the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinians have said they do not want to leave their capital.
Israel captured the territories in a move never recognised internationally.
The Israeli government says the West bank is Israel’s “eternal and indivisible” capital.