Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has met with top Israeli officials for the first time since Hamas won Palestinian elections earlier this year.
Mr. Abbas held talks with Israeli Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni Sunday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meeting in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik.
Livni later said Israel is releasing 11-million dollars in frozen Palestinian taxes in a bid to head off a humanitarian crisis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel stopped transferring more than 55-million dollars a month it collects on behalf of the Palestinians after the Hamas-led government took power.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is heading to the United States for his first meeting with President Bush since taking office earlier this month.
Mr. Olmert is expected to use Tuesday's talks to seek Mr. Bush's support for his plan to implement a partial withdrawal from the West Bank and set Israel's borders, with or without agreement from the Palestinians. Israel has refused to hold talks with the Hamas-led Palestinian government until Hamas renounces violence and recognizes Israel's right to exist.
The Israeli prime minister is also expected to discuss Iran's nuclear ambitions, which Israel views as a threat. On Sunday, Mr. Olmert told CNN he believes Iran is months from acquiring the know-how to build a nuclear weapon.