Sharon and Abbas to meet

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas will meet his Israeli counterpart Ariel Sharon on Wednesday to discuss ways of implementing the US-backed “road map”. 


Israel has 14 reservations to the
‘road map’

Senior Palestinian aide, Nabil Abu Rudeina, did not specify when or where the meeting between Abbas and Sharon would take place.

Israeli government sources said Tuesday’s meeting was postponed due to scheduling problems because of Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio’s visit to the occupied Palestinian territories.

Palestinian sources had said the meeting was postponed for “technical reasons”, without elaborating.

The planned Abbas-Sharon meeting will be the second highest of its kind  between the two sides since the Palestinian intifada or uprising erupted in September 2000 against Israel’s occupation.

Amman also confirmed it would host a three-way summit between US President George W Bush, Abbas and Sharon in early June.

Jordan’s King Abdullah will attend the summit, to be held at the Aqaba resort, said Jordanian Information Minister, Mohammad Adwan.

Washington believes a resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is vital for stability in the region, said Dr Wahid Abdul Majid, Deputy Chairman of the Cairo-based Centre for Strategic Studies.

Majid told Aljazeera he expected Bush to pressure both sides to implement the “road map”.

Bush would also meet separately with Arab leaders at the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, said Adwan.

Egyptian news agency MENA reported the Arab-US summit would be held on 4 June and attended by Morocco’s King Mohammad VI, King Hamad of Bahrain, Jordan’s King Abdullah, Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak.

Majid said he believed leaders would discuss post-war Iraq, but the focus of the talks would be the “road map”.

But the White House would not confirm or deny reports of any summit. “It’s under active consideration, the possibility of meetings,” said White House spokesperson, Ari Fleischer.

Sharon’s cabinet gave its conditional approval to the “road map”, aimed at ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, on Sunday. But ministers also passed a resolution denying Palestinian refugees the right of return.

Violence continues


Palestinians have been uprising
since September 2000

Despite Israel’s tentative nod towards the plan aimed at achieving peace, Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian teenager in the occupied West Bank refugee camp of Tulkarem.

They also critically wounded a seven-year-old body.

16-year-old Mohammad Mahmoud was shot in the chest when Israeli soldiers opened fire on a group of young stone throwers during a raid into the camp.

In a separate incident, a Palestinian teenager who was critically wounded by Israeli soldiers last week in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, died of his wounds.

Israeli tanks also launched a raid in Jenin and its refugee camp.

Earlier two Qassem rockets were fired from the occupied Gaza Strip on to the nearby Israeli town of Sderot without causing casualties.

The military wing of Hamas, the Ezzedin Al-Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack. In a statement, the group said it was a “message” to Israel for its re-occupation of the Gaza Strip town Beit Hanoun.