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Israel, Palestinian Ministers Hold Talks on Security Transfer


Israeli and Palestinian ministers are to meet Monday in a resumption of deadlocked talks on the Israeli transfer of security control of several West Bank cities to the Palestinians.

Israeli Defense Minster Shaul Mofaz is to meet with Palestinian Interior Minister Nasser Youssef in talks planned for Monday evening. Details of the security handover were to have been worked out last week, but talks broke down when Israel said it would not take down a roadblock outside Jericho that the Palestinians want removed.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to a cease-fire in early February, but Israel delayed a promised transfer of security control of five West Bank cities following a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, two weeks later.

In other developments, the Israeli cabinet decided Sunday to dismantle 24 settlement outposts that were built in violation of the terms of the internationally-backed peace plan known as the "road map."

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