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Israelis and Palestinians differ over talks

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Israelis and Palestinians differ over talks


The Israeli and Palestinian leaders have met to discuss advancing peace efforts but have not touched on the big issues of their conflict.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Mahmoud Abbas’s meeting in Jerusalem was the first in a series of twice-weekly encounters the pair have agreed to hold under an arrangement brokered by Washington.

But Israel will discuss substantive matters like future borders and the fate of Jerusalem. It says this cannot happen until the governing Hamas militant group renounces violence and recognises Israel.

The Palestinians want to move straight to final status talks.

There have been no large scale clashes between the Israelis and Palestinians in recent weeks but military operations continue.

In the latest, Israeli soldiers raided the West Bank town of Jenin in search of militants.

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