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Israel, Palestinians to Resume Security Talks
VOA News
14 Jun 2003, 15:23 UTC

Israeli and Palestinian security officials plan to resume talks Saturday, after 10 days of violence that has killed more than 60 people. They are expected to discuss Israel's offer to withdraw from parts of the Gaza Strip and hand over security control to the Palestinians, once the militant group Hamas halts attacks against Israelis.

Palestinian officials said late Friday that they are ready to take responsibility for security in areas handed back by Israel. The new security talks coincide with the arrival of a U.S. mission that was sent to the region to monitor confidence-building steps to be taken by both sides. But with renewed attacks and reprisals, the U.S. team, led by Assistant Secretary of State John Wolf, first will focus on trying to lower the level of violence.

A Palestinian report said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had offered a three-day cease-fire with Hamas militants. Hamas rejected the reported offer. And Israeli radio denied Mr. Sharon had made the proposal.

Thirty-six Palestinians and 25 Israelis have been killed in violence since a peace summit June 4 between President Bush and the Israeli and Palestinian Prime Ministers in Jordan.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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