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Israeli-Palestinian Talks Aim to Seal Security Deal


Top Israeli and Palestinian security officials are meeting to work out a deal for Israel to hand over security control of several West Bank towns to the Palestinian Authority.

Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Palestinian Mohammed Dahlan began their talks hours after Palestinians say Israeli military gunfire killed a schoolgirl in the Gaza Strip.

Israel is probing the Monday incident, which triggered Palestinian mortar fire into an Israeli settlement near the school where the girl died. No Israeli casualties were reported.

A short time later, Hamas and other militant groups said they would stick to their pledge to stop attacks on Israelis if the Israeli army does not launch offensive operations.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Israeli diplomats in Washington Monday ahead of her trip to the Middle East later this week.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

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