WORLD OFFICIALS MEET IN JERUSALEM TO DISCUSS GAZA AND A PALESTINIAN STATE
..Jerusalem, 1898 a.d.
JERUSALEM, June 26 - International mediators met here today to discuss Israeli- Palestinian relations after the seizure of power in the Gaza Strip by Hamas.
The officials from the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations held their talks in the American consulate here a day after the leaders of Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority held a summit in Egypt to show support for the government sworn in last week by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah.
At the summit on Monday in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister, said in his closing statement that as a gesture of good will, he would release 250 Fatah prisoners from Israeli jails after they sign a commitment not to return to violence. About 9,000 Palestinians are being held in Israeli jails. Attending the meeting were President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, King Abdullah of Jordan, Mr. Olmert and Mr. Abbas.
In a move apparently intended to upstage the meeting, Hamas released an audiotape on Monday that it said was the voice of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured a year ago in a cross- border raid and believed to be held by the Hamas military wing and two other militant factions. The tape, released on the anniversary of the raid, was the first sign of life from Corporal Shalit since he was taken to Gaza. (NYT, Timesonline.co.uk)
[Intercessors for America]
· "May all who hate Zion be turned back in shame. May they be like grass on the roof, which withers before it can grow." (Psalm 129:5-6)