Talks plan key Middle East summit (BBC) 01/30/05 01:53 GMT)
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Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz and Palestinian security
official Mohammed Dahlan have met to prepare for a key summit due
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud
Abbas will hold their first discussions since Mr Abbas´ election last
Israel said there was a "good positive atmosphere" at Saturday´s
talks. The Palestinians say they are close to an agreement with
militant factions to halt attacks on Israeli targets.
In Gaza, at least 22 people were injured in clashes between
supporters of the dominant Palestinian faction, Fatah, and the
radical Hamas movement.
A series of shooting incidents broke out at al-Mughazi refugee camp
over the factions´ various successes in recent elections.
Israeli troops have shot and killed a Palestinian man near Khan
Younis in southern Gaza, hospital medics say.
Witnesses said 35-year-old Ibrahim Shawas, who reportedly had
learning difficulties, was shot as he approached Israel´s border
It would be the fourth Palestinian death in a week, although violence
in the occupied territories has abated since Mahmoud Abbas´ recent
Israeli military sources said the army was unaware of the incident.
Palestinian security forces have been deploying throughout the Gaza
Strip in the past week and Mr Abbas has persuaded militant groups to
observe a de facto truce and end rocket and mortar attacks against
Reports say Mr Shawas was shot by troops from the Israeli side of the
Palestinian officials say Mr Abbas´ first summit with Mr Sharon will
take place within the next two weeks.
It will be the highest-level direct contact since they signed the
roadmap peace plan in June 2003, when Mr Abbas was Palestinian prime
Mr Sharon has praised Mr Abbas´ efforts to end fighting between the
two sides, and the Israeli army has ordered a scaling down of its
military activities in the Palestinian territories.
Mr Abbas is currently in Cairo where he has held talks with President
Their meeting follows reports that Egypt has agreed to deploy police
along its border with Gaza, and that Egyptian officials will help to
mediate a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian groups.(© BBC MMV
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