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A new page in Palestinian peace talks

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A new page in Palestinian peace talks


The Palestinian president has taken an unprecedented step in the search for Middle-East peace.

Mahmoud Abbas has taken out full-page adverts in three Hebrew newspapers, to assure Israeli readers directly that withdrawal from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and parts of Jerusalem would bring full diplomatic recognition from the Arab world.

One Jerusalem resident said: “I think that it looks very nice on paper, but it’s not real to think that Israel will leave all West Bank (sic) and give it up, and give East Jerusalem to make a capital for the Palestinians.”

In the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, an Israeli blockade is beginning to have a direct effect on the provision of basic food.

Israel has been disrupting supplies of fuel and humanitarian essentials since the beginning of November, saying the crossings will only re-open when Palestinian militants stop firing rockets across the border.

Bakeries throughout the Strip have empty shelves, their owners saying flour supplies have run out, but even if they had the ingredients, they have no fuel to cook them.

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