Leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organisation have given their backing to indirect peace talks with Israel.

The decision was announced after a three-hour meeting of PLO officials in the West Bank last night.

US President Barack Obama's Middle East envoy George Mitchell has been attempting to broker such indirect "proximity" talks.

The Palestinians broke off peace talks after Israel launched its offensive against Hamas in Gaza in 2008.

Under the proximity talks, Mitchell will shuttle between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to try to narrow their differences.

The PLO decision was announced by Jibril Rajoub, a leading member of the Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.