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Saturday, 10 August, 2002, 20:56 GMT 21:56 UK
CIA hosts Mid East security talks
Palestinians pass by an Israeli tank
Israel says Palestinian security efforts are ineffective
A senior Palestinian minister has held talks with the head of the CIA on a new US security plan for the West Bank.

The 90-minute meeting between Interior Minster Abdel Razak Yehiyeh and George Tenet follows US demands for the Palestinians to reform their security apparatus.

CIA director George Tenet
Tenet is devising a security blueprint

There was more violence on Saturday as Palestinian gunmen infiltrated a Jewish settlement on the West Bank, killing one person and wounding several others, the Israeli army said.

Earlier, two Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli troops, while Israeli police clashed with hundreds of demonstrators at a checkpoint on the edge of Jerusalem.

CIA plan

Mr Yehiyeh is part of the highest-level Palestinian delegation to visit Washington since President George W Bush called in June for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's removal.

Over the past few days, the Americans and Palestinians have been trying to agree on a new security plan.

Israeli soldier ion Bethlehem
Talks on an Israeli withdrawal broke down over security

Correspondents say the idea is that the Palestinian Authority would gradually take over and guarantee security as Israeli forces move back progressively from the West Bank and Gaza.

The CIA would help retrain and reorganise the Palestinian security forces

Mr Yehiyeh told Mr Tenet that the Palestinian security apparatus had been decimated by Israeli military action and that Palestinian policemen going about their jobs risked being arrested by Israeli forces, the Associated Press news agency quoted Palestinian sources as saying.

The interior minister presented Mr Tenet with a plan for bolstering the Palestinian security forces, the news agency reported.

Israel has demanded that the Palestinian security forces clamp down on extremists before it will pull its forces out of Palestinian towns and cities.

The BBC's State Department correspondent, Jon Leyne, says it is proving very difficult to get an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians on the details of the scheme.

The Palestinians are also complaining that the Americans are dragging their feet.

Continuing violence

At least one armed Palestinian shot dead a Jewish settler and wounded several others after breaking into the West Bank settlement of Mehora on Saturday night, Israeli military sources said.

Israeli troops in Nablus
Israel has imposed a curfew on Nablus

Israeli radio said a Palestinian gunman was killed in a shoot-out with Israeli security forces.

Earlier, Israeli soldiers shot dead a 54-year-old Palestinian municipality worker in the West Bank city of Nablus.

Palestinian security sources said Ahmad Qreni was driving through the city when his car was hit by a tank shell.

The Israeli army said it "expressed regret for the incident" and was investigating what happened.

The army said it also shot dead a Palestinian who tried to infiltrate Israel from the Gaza Strip with grenades strapped to his body.

Elsewhere, hundreds of Israeli and Arab peace activists clashed with police at a checkpoint on the Bethlehem-Jerusalem border.

Police sprayed the protesters with water and two people were arrested, the demonstration's organisers said.


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