US urges Qorei to take ‘real peace steps’
JERUSALEM: A US envoy urged Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to take real steps to put into motion a US-backed peace “road map” whose revival awaits a still-unscheduled meeting of their prime ministers.
But bullets again spoke louder than words in the West Bank, where Israeli troops at a spot roadblock shot dead a 20-year-old Palestinian woman travelling in a taxi.
“We very much hope that concrete steps can be taken by all sides on all of the issues necessary to see progress restored,” US official David Satterfield, asked about the road map, told reporters after meeting Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei. Speaking to reporters, Qorei said no date had been set for talks with his Israeli counterpart, Ariel Sharon, on moving along the road map. Israel Radio said a summit was unlikely in the coming week and officials planned more preparatory meetings.
A Palestinian student was shot dead by Israeli troops early Saturday near her university in the West Bank town of Nablus, medical and security sources said. Several thousand Palestinians demonstrated in Gaza City on Saturday demanding freedom for prisoners held by Israel, and a halt to construction of the Israeli barrier along the West Bank.
Israeli police reinforced security in the Tel Aviv area and the coastal plain near the West Bank after a threat of an attack in the area, Israeli public radio reported Saturday.
Police set up barricades in the region and closed a main east-west road linking the West Bank to the coast. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called in an interview published Saturday for Germany and the entire European Union to review their relationship with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. —Agencies