After weeks of delays, Israel plans to handover the towns of Jericho and Tulkarem to the Palestinian Authority in the coming days. The agreement was reached at a meeting between Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. “The Palestinian Authority must fight terror and dismantle the infrastructure of terror,” Mofaz said, adding that this is the only way to advance the peace process. The pullout was supposed to begin a few weeks ago, but disagreements over security arrangements and then a Palestinian suicide bombing that killed 5 Israelis in Tel Aviv caused a delay. Abbas said the Palestinian Authority is keeping its security commitments. Jericho and Tulkarem are a test case--it it's quiet there, Israel will withdraw from three more towns in Judea and Samaria.
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