Israel, Palestine meet to talk security

By NNN-Prensa Latina

Ramallah : Officials of the Israeli government met on Monday with representatives of Palestine to discuss security and the suspension of restrictions on the inhabitants of the West Bank, said Israeli government spokeswoman Miri Eisin.

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The place of the meeting was not revealed and top Israeli officials participated, while Palestine was represented by Interior Ministry officials.

Eisin said this was a first step, and denied any exchange of a wanted list or coordination of arrests, as charged by some members of the Islamic Resistance.

This meeting is seven years after both parties suspended dialogue following the second Intifada, which cost the lives of more than 4,000 people.

With the Hamas electoral victory in January 2006, possibilities of exchange became nil, and only after the dissolution of the national unity government by President Mahmoud Abbas in June, did dialogue have a chance to continue.

Former Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh convoked a protest over the decision of the new government to deny salaries to Gaza Strip workers who are members of the Islamic Resistance.

A total 140,000 residents in the Gaza Strip and West Bank will receive their full salaries starting Wednesday, after Israel, the US and the European Union boycotted the delivery of funds in March 2006.

The measure excludes 23,000 Palestinian citizens working for Hamas, who cannot collect their salaries by the decision of the new Head of Government Salam Fayad.