The Israeli and Palestinian Leaders try to end bloodshed

The Israeli and Palestinian leaders hold talks in Paris aimed at ending the violence which has left the stalled Mid-East peace process in tatters. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat are attending US-sponsored talks in Paris in response to the eruption of violence in the occupied Palestinian territories. A three-way meeting between US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and the Palestinian and Israeli leaders was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, according to US officials. Mr Arafat is under pressure to put a stop to the violent confrontations, in which Palestinian stone-throwers and gunmen have clashed with Israeli occupation forces. Before agreeing to face-to-face talks with Israel, the Palestinians had been demanding provisions to protect their civilians and for an international commission to investigate the violence. The worst of the latest incidents happened overnight, with two Palestinian policemen killed near Ramallah in the West Bank. A number of Israeli outposts in the occupied territories also came under attack, including one at Dugit in the northern Gaza Strip where an explosion injured one soldier. Isolated clashes have been reported on Wednesday and a large forest fire was raging in northern Israel, apparently set by arsonists in support of the uprising. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has described the situation as close to "all-out war".

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Author`s name: Editorial Team