Israeli-Palestinian summit in doubt

first_imgJERUSALEM – A much-anticipated summit between Israeli and Palestinian leaders was suddenly thrown into doubt Sunday after Israel’s defense minister rejected key Palestinian demands during a preparatory meeting meant to ensure the upcoming session’s success. Senior Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agreed to meet once more in hopes of salvaging the summit. The summit, tentatively set for Tuesday, would be the first between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas since Israel completed its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip last month. Violence late Sunday marred the atmosphere. Israeli soldiers shot and killed three Palestinians crawling along the Gaza border fence, military and Palestinian officials said. The military said they were apparently trying to plant a bomb. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 The unilateral pullout from Gaza raised hopes that peace talks might soon resume. Israeli and Palestinian officials say they want to produce concrete results at a summit, hoping success would lead to formal negotiations toward a peace treaty. But the two sides are deadlocked over several Palestinian demands, including the hand-over of West Bank towns to Palestinian security control and demands for more weapons for the embattled Palestinian security services. Sharon told his Cabinet on Sunday that he did not know if the meeting would take place, stressing that he will not threaten Israel’s security. “There are gestures that Israel can and will make, and there are gestures that it won’t,” he said, according to meeting participants. Abbas has said one of his goals will be to persuade Israel to carry out pledges it has made already, including pulling its troops out of five West Bank towns. Israel agreed to the pullback as part of a February cease-fire. But the process stalled after two towns, Jericho and Tulkarem, were handed over, with Israel accusing the Palestinians of failing to take action against militants in those towns. Israel later retook Tulkarem after a suicide bomber from the area attacked an Israeli city. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz opposes any further hand-overs of Palestinian towns, the Defense Ministry said Sunday. Mofaz also objects to supplying Abbas’ security forces with new weapons. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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