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Israel Nixes Further Security Transfers in West Bank


Israel says it will not hand over control of any more West Bank towns to Palestinian security forces, because it says the Palestinian Authority is not disarming militants.

Wednesday's decision by the Israeli security cabinet comes despite a recent Israeli truce pledge to transfer control of five West Bank towns to Palestinian police. In return for that pledge, the Palestinians agreed at a February peace summit to end attacks on Israeli targets.

Since then, Israel has transferred control of Jericho and Tulkarem. Talks were under way to complete the handover of three more towns when Israeli radio reported today's cabinet decision.

Earlier, the Palestinian Authority said again it does not intend to disarm militants in the occupied territories. But Palestinian security chief Rashid Abu Shbak said militants must still honor their February pledge to abide by the ongoing ceasefire.

Some information for this story provided by AP and Reuters.

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