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Monday, 11 June, 2001, 22:47 GMT 23:47 UK
Mid-East ceasefire talks break up
Israeli PM Ariel Sharon attends the funeral of Yehuda Haim Shoham
Sharon attends the funeral of Yehuda Haim Shoham
Reports from the Middle East say a meeting between Palestinian and Israeli security officials has ended without any agreement on an American plan to firm up the current ceasefire.

A Palestinian source said the meeting had lasted more than three hours and had been tense and ill-tempered, though there has been no word from the Israelis.

US proposals
Palestinians to arrest militants, end incitements to violence
Israel to stop attacks on Palestinians, withdraw to positions held before uprising
Renewed security co-operation and joint patrols
According to the reports, the Palestinian side rejected an Israeli demand that they take security measures to stop attacks on Israel before Israel lifts its blockade on Palestinian areas.

The Palestinian official said the US proposals were handed back to the Americans for amendments.

The meeting was chaired by the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, George Tenet, in Jerusalem.

Separately, the Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and the Palestinian minister for international co-operation, Nabil Shaath, also met on Monday - on the sidelines of the European foreign ministers' meeting in Luxembourg.

It is the first time the two men have met since April.

Death toll rises

Despite a general fall in the level of violence in Israel and the territories in the past week because of the ceasefire, the death toll has continued to rise.

A five-month-old baby died on Monday from the head injuries he suffered when his parents' car was stoned by Palestinians in the West Bank last week.

Palestinians accused Israelis of an assassination attempt
A suspected car bomb injured Imad Abu Diab in the West Bank town of Tulkarm
At the funeral service for the baby, settlers heckled Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, frustrated that he was not taking tougher action against the Palestinians.

The shouted "vengeance" and "coward" as Mr Sharon stepped up to a podium to address the crowd of hundreds.

And an 18-year-old Palestinian security agent wounded on the same day as the baby also died on Monday. His skull had been fractured by a rubber-coated Israeli bullet.

A suspected car bomb also critically injured a 25-year-old Islamic Jihad activist.

The group quickly blamed Israel for the attack, claiming that it was an attempt to assassinate one of its members, but the Israeli army said it had no knowledge of the incident.


The meeting between Mr Tenet and Israeli and Palestinian officials to end such violence completely was originally scheduled to take place on Sunday, but it was postponed when the Americans realised the extent of the differences between the two sides.

CIA chief George Tenet with Yasser Arafat in Ramallah
Palestinians and Israelis respect Mr Tenet
The Palestinians in particular had a long list of "reservations".

There has been considerable pessimism on both sides over whether the American proposals are sustainable.

Mr Tenet has asked the Israelis to stop attacking Palestinian targets and to withdraw from positions they have occupied since the Palestinian uprising began last September.

He wants Palestinian leaders to prevent attacks on Israeli positions, to end what Israelis see as incitement in the media and to arrest militant gunmen.

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

But the Palestinians have said they will not make what they call arbitrary arrests.

'Optical illusion'

It appeared that little progress had been made at the meeting between Mr Peres and Mr Shaath in Luxembourg.

A BBC correspondent said that behind the diplomatic niceties, there was evidence that sharp differences remained.

Mr Shaath would not agree to the EU sending additional observers to the region, and there was no sign of agreement on the issue of Israeli settlements.

The chief of staff of the Israeli army, General Shaul Mofaz, has called the current truce an optical illusion.

He said he expects a long conflict with the Palestinians.

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