US: Gaps between Israelis and Palestinians narrowing but reports of deal are premature

The US State Department said Thursday that progress was being made in US-mediated negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians meant to keep peace talks going, but denied reports from the region that there had been an agreement.
"Our negotiating team and both parties remain in intensive negotiation. They had another meeting today. The gaps are narrowing but any speculations about an agreement are premature at this time," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a regular briefing.
The statement came following an Al Arabiya report that a deal had been reached to extend the talks.
According to the Al Arabiya report, the deal would see an unspecified number of Palestinian prisoners released and a settlement construction freeze implemented in exchange for a suspension of Palestinian plans to join 15 international treaties and conventions. Under the reported deal, the US would also release from prison Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard.
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