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Sharon, Abbas Meeting Canceled


A planned meeting between Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and his Israeli counterpart, Ariel Sharon, has been canceled. At least part of the reason for the postponement was an attack Sunday in which an Israeli woman and her three children were wounded by Palestinian gunmen.

A statement from Mr. Sharon's office said the meeting, which was originally set for Wednesday, had been canceled because of the shooting. Palestinian officials said Mr. Abbas called off the talks because of disagreements over the number of Palestinian prisoners Israel plans to release.

Meanwhile, Israel's defense minister says he will not transfer control of any more West Bank cities to the Palestinians, until the Palestinian Authority cracks down on militants.

Shaul Mofaz says he made the decision after the Sunday attack, which was claimed by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

Monday, Israel published a list of 342 prisoners it says it plans to release this week. Those named include members of the militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Palestinians want Israel to free all of the more than six-thousand Palestinian prisoners it holds.

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