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Israel Freezes More Security Transfers in West Bank


Palestinian police officers set up a post at the entrance of the West Bank town of Tulkarem
Israel has frozen the planned handover of more West Bank towns to Palestinian security forces because it says Palestinian forces have failed to disarm militants.

The Israeli security cabinet made the decision Wednesday. Israel had recently pledged to transfer control of five West Bank towns after Palestinians agreed to end attacks on Israeli targets. But Israel has so far only handed over control of Jericho and Tulkarem.

Earlier Wednesday, 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 cease-fire.

In other developments, Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers who were among stone-throwers protesting Israel's separation barrier near the West Bank village of Beit Lakia.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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