JERUSALEM (Reuters/AFP) - Israel and the Palestinians on Wednesday held their first highest-level talks since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office, focusing on economic issues while formal peace negotiations remained stalled. The meeting was a signal from both sides that dialogue is still possible despite sharp differences Washington has been trying to bridge. This meeting was unrelated to political negotiations, Palestinian Economy Minister Bassem Khoury told Reuters after his talks with Israeli Vice-Prime Minister Silvan Shalom. The Minister said he and Shalom had discussed West Bank imports and travel permits, as well as policies on the transfer of goods and money to Gaza and Israels control of frequencies sought by Palestinians for their Wataniya mobile telephone network. He described the talks as positive and said he and Shalom agreed to meet again in six weeks. Shalom told reporters: I think that the Palestinians have understood that there is no point in continuing to boycott the talks with Israel and that these talks will not be conditioned by any concessions on our part. In the West Bank, Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Abbas, reaffirmed the Palestinian position that peace talks, suspended since December, could not resume without an Israeli commitment to freeze settlement in the occupied West Bank. He said the Jerusalem meeting, the first between Israeli and Palestinian cabinet ministers since Netanyahus government was inaugurated in March, fell within the framework of economic issues and was not related to political negotiations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, has vowed not to freeze settlement construction in the West Bank, according to one of his ministers quoted by the Jerusalem Post newspaper. I heard the prime minister say with my own ears that he has no intention of freezing construction in the settlements or in Jerusalem, the English-language daily quoted minister without portfolio Yossi Peled as saying. He said there is no agreement to freeze construction in the settlements. I am telling you this first-hand, said Peled, who accompanied Netanyahu on a visit to Europe last week. Jews should be able to live wherever they want, he told members of Netanyahus hawkish Likud party on Tuesday evening. Meanwhile, axe-wielding ultra-Orthodox Jews went on a rampage in a Jerusalem neighbourhood, wounding a Palestinian taxi-driver, destroying his vehicle and setting dumpsters on fire, police and witnesses said. Police pulled out from the neighbourhood following violent riots in recent days, said spokesman Shmulik Ben Rubi. Israeli media said several dozen young Haredis attacked a Palestinian driver and destroyed his vehicle with axes. Police said the man was lightly wounded. It was a lynching attempt, a witness who identified himself as a Haredi told radio, expressing outrage over the violence which he said he saw from his Mea Sharim apartment. The taxi-driver could have been killed if he hadnt fled as an ambulance arrived. Rubi said police opened an investigation even though the driver had not filed a claim so far. He said police could not intervene in time as access roads to Mea Sharim were barricaded by Haredis following earlier rioting.