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Four Israeli soldiers injured at West Bank checkpoint


In this story:

More talks, some progress

Newspaper: Clinton proposes summit

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Four Israeli soldiers were injured on Thursday when a Palestinian rammed a truck into a West Bank checkpoint, the Israel Defense Forces reported.

The IDF said troops fired at the vehicle as it fled into Aram village between Jerusalem and Ramallah, and that the driver was taken into custody. The driver, the military said, was treated for minor wounds.

Clashes were reported in Gaza, but with no details, as the three-month bout of deadly violence between Israelis and Palestinians continued unabated.

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Both sides differ on talks progress, according to CNN's Andrea Koppel (December 21)

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Meanwhile, thousands of Palestinians filled the streets of Gaza for the funerals of four Palestinians who died on Wednesday, the latest victims of the open conflict that broke out on September 28.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society says 313 of the dead have been Palestinians. Israeli officials say 38 Israeli Jews have been killed, along with 13 Israeli Arabs.

Overnight, the IDF reported an anti-tank missile fired toward a military post in the Jewish settlement Kfar Darom in Gaza. Two Palestinians were wounded when the soldiers fired at the source of the missile, the army said.

The army also said that gunfire was directed at military posts in several Gaza locations, and that the soldiers manning those posts returned fire. The IDF said none of the incidents resulted in injuries or damage on the Israeli side.

More talks, some progress

On the diplomatic front, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators began a third day of talks at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, where they were to be joined by U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in the evening.

Both sides were cautious about the prospects of peace in the near future, but Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami reported some progress.

"We were with (U.S. President Bill) Clinton yesterday who presented what he called the possible parameters of an agreement," Ben-Ami said on Israel radio. "Israel could definitely live with the majority of these parameters."

Clinton's plan, presented during a White House meeting between the president and negotiators from both sides, was based on understandings reached during last summer's failed Camp David summit, Ben-Ami said.

Among the issues that brought those talks to a halt was the final status of Jerusalem and its holy sites, borders, the fate of thousands of Palestinian refugees and Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza.

Newspaper: Clinton proposes summit

Israel's largest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, said Clinton was hoping the two sides could come to an agreement and join him for a signing summit on January 10 -- ten days before he leaves office and hands the reins of government to President-elect George W. Bush.

palestinian chant
Palestinian girls chant slogans such as "God loves martyrs" during a funeral in Rafah, Gaza, on Thursday  

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat, however, said after the meeting with Clinton on Tuesday that Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak should come together only if they are assured of success.

"I don't want to raise anybody's expectations," he said. "We're having very serious discussions. But at the same time, we're facing major difficulties and serious differences."

Ben-Ami agreed that a summit might be ill-advised without an agreement in hand.

"We need a summit to crown an effort rather than to be a substitute for negotiations," Ben-Ami told the Jerusalem Post.

CNN Jerusalem Bureau Chief Mike Hanna contributed to this report.



RELATED STORIES:
Clinton, Mideast negotiators meet at White House
December 20, 2000
Israeli, Palestinian negotiators begin peace talks
December 19, 2000
Mideast leaders plan U.S. peace talks as violence goes on
December 17, 2000
Top officials meet amid talk of Mideast summit
December 16, 2000
U.S. officials make new push for Mideast peace talks
December 15, 2000
Israeli foreign minister, Arafat meet in Gaza
December 14, 2000
EU president to speak with Arafat, Barak
December 13, 2000
Arafat, U.S. mediator hold Mideast talks
December 12, 2000
Commission meets with Israeli, Palestinian leaders
December 11, 2000
Netanyahu challenges Barak for Israeli prime ministership
December 10, 2000
Israel's Barak to step down, seek new mandate
December 9, 2000

RELATED SITES:
The Nobel Peace Prize 1994
Meretz Party (In Hebrew)
Knesset, The Israeli Parliament
Likud
United Nations
  • Question of Palestine
U.S. State Department
  • Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
  • Middle East Peace Process
The EU and the Middle East Peace Process
Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies
Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Palestinian National Authority
Israel Defense Forces
Palestine Red Crescent Society

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