Abbas Denies Held Secret Talks With Netanyahu

Yediot Ahronot daily reported that Netanyahu confidante Yitzhak Molcho met several times with Abbas associate in London.

The bureau of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Thursday denied an Israeli newspaper report that Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have maintained a secret communications channel for several years.

Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported earlier Thursday that Netanyahu’s confidant Issac Molcho had been meeting with a senior Abbas’ associate in London from time to time.

“This back-channel diplomacy includes an exchange of messages and ideas and is aimed at solving problems troubling both sides,” the report added.

Wafa, the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency, quoted Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeina as saying there had not been any secret talks between Abbas and Israeli officials.

Netanyahu's bureau did not comment on the report.

The secret channel was of more significance during Netanyahu’s previous term as prime minister, when there were no official negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the newspaper reported.

“Both Netanyahu and Abbas kept the talks confidential in order to avoid political pressure," it said.