RAMALLAH, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met on Monday evening in the West Bank city of Jericho away from the media, a well-informed Palestinian source said.
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that the two negotiation teams met in the house of chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat amid the absence of envoys from the United States, the sponsor of the peace talks.
"Erekat presented to his Israeli counterparts a string protest to the earlier killing of three Palestinians by the Israeli soldiers' gunfire in northern Ramallah," the source said. Israel has neither confirmed or denied the report.
Monday's meeting was held despite the earlier announcement of Yasser Abed Rabbo, a Palestine Liberation Organization official, that the Palestinians had suspended the talks.
The U.S. State Department denied earlier reports that the peace talk session has been canceled.
"As we have said the parties are engaged in serious and sustained negotiations," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.
"We are not going to announce when every meeting takes place. But again I can assure you that no meeting has been canceled," she said.
Meanwhile, the official Wafa news agency reported that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met earlier on Monday at his office in Ramallah with Gen. John Alan, special U.S. security envoy to the region.
Alan delivered a letter to Abbas, in which the United States reiterates backing the peace process based on establishing an independent Palestinian state, according to the report.
Martin Indyk, U.S. peace envoy to the Middle East, also attended Abbas' meeting with Alan.
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were resumed last month after nearly three years of stalemate over the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, the lands meant to be the territories of a future Palestinian state.
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