Israel and Hamas ‘holding direct talks in an African state’, says Mahmoud Abbas

Israeli and Hamas are meeting “in an African country” to hold direct longterm ceasefire talks, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has claimed.

Mr Abbas said this week that representatives of the two sides that fought in last year’s Gaza conflict have been conducting the negotiations for eight months.

An unnamed Israeli official from the prime minister’s office issued an explicit denial of any talks, saying “there are no meetings with Hamas”.