Israeli, Palestinian leaders 'agree to meet in principle'

The two men met for talks in 2010 but the hostility has increased in the last two years

Netanyahu and Abbas seen meeting in 2010 in Washington

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The leaders of Israel and the Palestinian territories have agreed to meet "in principle", according to the Russian news agency Interfax.

The reported breakthrough, claimed by the Russian Foreign Ministry, comes after several days of talks between Russia and both the Israeli and Palestinian sides.

The respective leaders, Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas, had been due to meet earlier this week, however the meeting was cancelled. 

Tensions between the Israeli and Palestinian sides remain extremely high. Although negotiations between the two sides took place in early 2014, these were suspended when Israel accused Abbas's Fatah party, which leads the Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank, of forging an alliance with Hamas, which runs the Gaza strip and is a proscribed organisation in several countries.

The hostility then boiled over into bloodshed in the summer of 2014, when the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers prompted a summer-long conflict in Gaza, which witnessed a brutal Israeli bombardment.

Earlier today, it was reported that a Palestinian court had frozen planned elections in Gaza and the West Bank, citing disputes between the rival Hamas and Fatah movements over candidate lists.