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Legal Hitch Stalls Jericho Handover

Israeli forces have handed over control of some checkpoints around the town of Jericho to Palestinian security forces, but a last-minute legal hitch apparently has stalled the formal transfer.

Officials at the handover said a dispute arose Wednesday over several documents that needed to be signed. It is not clear when that situation will be resolved.

Israeli forces have dismantled one roadblock and Palestinian forces have taken up positions inside the town. Two other checkpoints will remain in place for a one-month trial period to test the Palestinians' ability to ensure calm.

Jericho is the first of five towns -Tulkarem, Qalqiliya, Ramallah, Bethlehem- that Israel plans to turn over to Palestinian control.

Meanwhile, in Cairo, Egyptian and Palestinian officials and Palestinian militant leaders are discussing a proposed one-year halt to Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets.

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