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Palestinian PM Says Mideast Peace Initiative Problematic


Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya says an Arab peace plan for the Middle East is problematic because it requires Palestinians to recognize Israel.

Mr. Haniya says the main problem with the peace initiative, presented by Saudi Arabia and adopted by the Arab League in 2002, is that it recognizes Israel in exchange for an Israeli pullout from Palestinian territories. He says his Hamas-led government will not recognize or normalize relations with Israel.

His comments came after a week of tense political infighting between Hamas and the rival Fatah Party of President Mahmoud Abbas.

In an unrelated development, Israeli and Palestinian sources say aides to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Mr. Abbas have met to plan the first official summit between the two leaders. No date for the summit has been announced.

Meanwhile, Palestinian witnesses say Israeli troops killed a Palestinian militant and a civilian in separate incidents near the West Bank town of Nablus Sunday.

Israeli military officials say the militant was killed following an attack on a military unit conducting searches in the Balata refugee camp.

According to witnesses, the slain militant was a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed faction linked to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party. At least two other militants were reported wounded in the attack.

Later, Palestinian medical officials said Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian civilian who tried to bypass a military checkpoint near Nablus.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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