In response to the radio report on Saturday, an Israeli official said: "There is a possibility that as a result of continuing contacts between the two offices there will be a decision to conduct the meeting this week, but this has not been finalised." 

Palestinian officials said preparations for the meeting were not completed and no date had been set. The much-anticipated meeting would be the first between the two leaders and would come days after Sharon announced a plan to unilaterally separate Israelis from Palestinians within months if peace talks fail. 

Sharon also said Israel would work to further the US- backed "road map" peace plan in the coming weeks by transferring towns to Palestinian security control and opening roadblocks that hamper Palestinian movement. 

Quraya, a moderate, said on Thursday he was disappointed with Sharon's separation "threat" and urged negotiations.