The Israeli Prime Minister has outlined his vision for reviving the Middle East peace process. Speaking at an annual memorial at the grave of Israel’s founding premier David Ben Gurion, Ehud Olmert said the Palestinians stood at an “historic crossroads” which would see substantive improvements in their lives if they chose the path of peace. He also said he was ready to free a number of Palestinian prisoners and unblock funds in exchange for the release of an Israel soldier kidnapped and held by militants since June.
It comes against the background of increased diplomatic activity, and a fragile ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces patrolling villages near the West Bank city of Jenin say they shot dead two Palestinian militants after coming under fire this morning.
Palestinian officials claim a militant was killed along with a woman who rushed to his aid. Meanwhile, the smaller Islamic Jihad group, which claimed to have fired rockets into Israel yesterday says it will not agree to a ceasefire while Israel maintains its presence in the West Bank