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The BBC's Chris Morris
"There are reservations on both sides"
 real 56k

Spokesman for Yasser Arafat, Marwan Kanafani
"We want to sit down and talk about the political problems"
 real 28k

Israeli government spokesman, Dr. Ranaan Gissin
"We do not need to prove to anyone that we are the one's really trying to move away from the cycle of violence"
 real 28k

Sunday, 10 June, 2001, 21:03 GMT 22:03 UK
Cautious welcome for US truce plan
Palestinians carry the coffin of one of the three women killed by Israeli tank fire on Saturday
Thousands turned out for the funerals on Sunday
Israel has welcomed a United States plan to strengthen the Middle East ceasefire, while Palestinians have said they have "reservations" about it.

George Tenet, the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, has put off until Monday a three-way meeting with representatives of both sides, Israeli television reported.

US proposals
Palestinians to arrest militants
End incitements to violence
Israel to stop attacks on Palestinians
Withdraw to positions held before latest uprising
Renewed security co-operation and joint patrols
As Israel and the Palestinians formulated their responses to the US proposals, thousands of angry Palestinians attended the funeral in Gaza of three Palestinian women killed by Israeli tank fire on Saturday.

The women - three generations of one family - were the first to be killed in more than a week.

Israeli ministers, including Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, have expressed regret over the killings, and the army chief of staff has said it may have been a mistake.

Mr Tenet has been in the region since Thursday, pressing both sides to accept measures designed to cement their fragile ceasefire.


It's very possible that there was a mistake

Shaul Mofaz,
Israeli chief of staff
The US proposals reportedly set out a six-week timetable to quell the Palestinian uprising, which has raged since September at a cost of about 600 lives.

Mr Tenet presented the proposals to Palestinian and Israeli security chiefs at a three-way meeting on Friday.

Tank attack

The chief of staff of the Israeli army has admitted that the killing of three women from the nomadic Malalha family near Netzarim late on Saturday may have been an accident.

The women were killed near Netzarim
"It's very possible that there was a mistake," Lieutenant General Shaul Mofaz told the Associated Press, promising an investigation.

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, condemned the killings as a "war crime".

The deaths were the first due to violence in the region since Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat declared a cease-fire following a suicide bombing at a Tel Aviv disco that killed 20 Israelis on 1 June.

The Israeli army says its tanks and soldiers were responding to Palestinian fire.

Palestinian sources deny that, with some saying there was gunfire, but not in the immediate area, and others saying there was no shooting at all.

On Sunday, a Palestinian wounded by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip six days ago died of his injuries, Reuters news agency reported.

Different priorities

Israeli media reports say Israel's top priorities are for the Palestinians to arrest of Islamic militants from Islamic Jihad and Hamas and to prevent any incitement to violence.

For their part, the Israelis are under pressure to stop attacking Palestinian territory and to withdraw to positions held before the latest Palestinian uprising began last September.

CIA chief George Tenet with Yasser Arafat in Ramallah
Both sides respect Mr Tenet
The Palestinians are also demanding an end to Israeli settlement activity on occupied land, as specified by the Mitchell formula.

But Israeli Justice Minister Meir Sheetrit warned that there could be no timetable for a settlement freeze while Palestinian attacks persisted.

Mr Tenet's efforts come amid a flurry of international visits aimed at building on the ceasefire which is in place.

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson met Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat separately for talks on Sunday.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan begins a week-long Middle East tour next Tuesday.

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See also:

08 Jun 01 | Middle East
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