RealNews

Palestinian Prime Minister Holds Truce Talks With Hamas

The Palestinian prime minister and top security officials held talks with Hamas on Thursday to try to persuade the militant group to halt attacks, while Israel said it intercepted a boat carrying rocket detonators and instructions for suicide attackers. Israel accused Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat of involvement in the shipment, which it said was headed from Lebanon to the Gaza Strip. An explosives expert from the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah was among several people on board. Also Thursday, there were signs that Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would be meeting separately soon with President Bush, who is planning to travel to Europe next week, followed by possible stops in the Gulf states of Kuwait and Qatar. A Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Abbas was considering a U.S. proposal that he meet with Bush in Qatar. Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said might Sharon meet with Bush at the end of next week in Europe. Earlier this week, Sharon canceled a meeting with Bush after a wave of Palestinian suicide attacks in Israel. The original meeting was to have taken place Tuesday at the White House. The United States is trying to gain support for the so-called “road map” to Mideast peace, a plan that calls for ending violence immediately and setting up a Palestinian state by 2005. Full Story

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