Palestinian security forces say they have foiled an attempt on the life of a top commander loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas.A bomb weighing 70 kilos was found at the man’s Gaza home. It comes amid growing internal strife and a worsening humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories. In response, the Israeli cabinet has authorised the release of more than nine million euros in taxes withheld from the Palestinians. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said none of it would reach the new Hamas government, which has been subject to US-led sanctions since it came to power in January. Olmert’s two deputies, vice premier Shimon Peres and foreign minister Tzipi Livini are meeting with the Palestinian president in Egypt to discuss ways to end the fiscal crisis. It’s the first high level meeting between Israelis and Palestinians since their respective elections earlier this year. Israel is continuing its tough line on dealing with Palestinian militants. Yesterday it killed a senior member of Islamic Jihad who it said was responsible for rocket attacks on Israeli towns. He was buried today in Gaza. Since Israel withdrew from the territory last year after decades of occupation, militants have stepped up cross-border rocket attacks. In the latest, a rocket fired at an Israeli school, which caused no injuries.
Top level meeting to address Palestinian woes