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  Monday, August 26, 2019
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Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas will meet Sunday at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh
Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet Sunday at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Israeli radio station Galei Tzahal said Thursday. The summit at the Red Sea resort will also be attended by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah II. The sides are set to discuss the situation in the Palestinian territories following the violent takeover by radical Islamist group Hamas of the Gaza Strip last week, and the establishment of an emergency government by Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Gaza has been under the full control of Hamas since last week's fighting with the pro-presidential Fatah loyalists. President Abbas dismissed the Hamas-led government following the coup, and his new emergency cabinet led by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has received the backing of most Western nations, and the more moderate Arab states. The Israeli English-language newspaper Haaretz quoted Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior aide to Abbas, as saying the new government hoped that the president would be able to negotiate a removal of Israel's West Bank checkpoints, which are disrupting trade and the daily lives of Palestinians, and a removal of economic sanctions imposed after Hamas won parliamentary elections early last year. At talks in Washington on Tuesday between Olmert and President George W. Bush, the U.S. leader rallied behind Abbas, in an apparent bid to isolate Hamas, which both Israel and the U.S. consider a terrorist organization. The leaders both spoke of a long-term commitment to a unified Palestinian state, while acknowledging that such plans are unrealistic while Fatah governs only the West Bank.
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