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Breakthroughs in Middle East

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Breakthroughs in Middle East

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Palestinian militants are reported to have agreed to stop firing mortar shells at Jewish settlements.

The Palestinian Authority says factions including Hamas reached agreement after talks in the Gaza Strip. Observers say the agreement is intended to curtail violence that’s been threatening to end a shaky truce, and also overshadow a visit to the US this week by the Palestinian president. Mahmoud Abbas has been meeting the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Afterwards he told reporters he would meet the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on 7 June. Israel, however, denies an actual date has been set, but does say it is interested in setting up such a meeting.