Israel and the Palestinians have begun preparing for the first summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and new Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Authorities say officials will meet next week to plan details of the summit, which Israel says could take place within two weeks.
Meanwhile, Palestinian officials say Mr. Abbas has told his security chiefs to prepare to take over security responsibilities from Israel in parts of the West Bank within the next 10 days. The Associated Press says Palestinians will provide security in Ramallah, Tulkarem, Qalqilya and Jericho. Israel has not confirmed the handover. In other developments, undercover Israeli troops shot and killed a suspected Palestinian militant and wounded a teenage passerby in Qalqilya. In Gaza, a pre-school girl was killed after Israeli soldiers guarding a Jewish settlement opened fire on militants who allegedly shot rockets at a Jewish settlement.