TUNIS, Tunisia — Seven Palestinian negotiators from the occupied territories have been made members of a PLO leadership committee directing peace talks with Israel, the PLO said Thursday.
The appointments, the first time negotiators from the territories have been given official Palestine Liberation Organization posts, were made to end a weeklong crisis in which three negotiators submitted their resignations in protest at not being consulted enough by the PLO leadership.
Among those named to the committee were the three who had threatened to resign.
The leadership group is chaired by PLO leader Yasser Arafat.
Israel, which in recent years refused to negotiate with any Palestinian belonging to a PLO committee, said Thursday that it did not object to the appointments.
As the rift in the Palestinian camp was being resolved, the United States and Russia asked Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian delegation to resume negotiations in Washington at the end of the month. There was no immediate word on responses.
Also Thursday, Israel said that about half of about 400 Palestinians expelled Dec. 17 after Islamic radicals were blamed for killing six Israeli soldiers will be permitted to return next month and the rest by the end of the year.