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Chief Palestinian Negotiator: Talks With Israel Must Include Timetable for Statehood


The chief Palestinian negotiator says peace talks with Israel must include a timetable for establishing Palestinian statehood.

Ahmed Qureia said in the West Bank city of Ramallah Tuesday that the Israeli prime minister has said he will not accept a timetable. He said that the Palestinians will not accept negotiations without one.

Israelis and Palestinians have been working to bridge differences ahead of a U.S.-sponsored peace conference to be held in Annapolis, Maryland. The Palestinians have been pressing for a detailed joint document addressing core issues, while the Israelis favor a general declaration of principles.

The United States has not yet announced a date for the conference.

In violence Tuesday, Palestinian medical sources say Israeli forces shelled a police station in southern Gaza Strip, killing at least four members of Hamas.

And Israeli Attorney General Menahem Mazuz has said Israel cannot reduce electricity to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip unless officials can ensure that it will not cause humanitarian harm.

Israel began reducing fuel deliveries to Gaza on Sunday and says it will wait for an Israeli Supreme Court ruling before cutting electrical supplies.

Israel says the cutting of the supplies is in response to daily rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip aimed at Israel.

The United Nations says fuel and electricity reductions to Gaza are unacceptable. The European Union and Russia also have expressed concern about the cuts.

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

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