Israel ready to negotiate. But shooting unabated

Israel intends to return to peace talks with the Palestinians as soon as quiet sets in in the region, Nathan Meron, Israeli ambassador to Russia said yesterday. A newly formed Israeli government will be striving to observe all agreements which were signed earlier, he emphasized. Asked of a possibility to sign a long-term peace agreement, Mr. Meron said this could most likely to be done through signing of a series of interim agreements. In the meantime, Israel has closed off the only outpost between Egypt and Gaza strip, no exceptions being made for transporting the sick and wounded or when urgent humanitarian aid is needed. According to Palestinian sources, the Israelis demand that people cross the border and the adjacent 1-km security zone by foot only.