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Israeli PM Demands Palestinian Crackdown on Militants After Attack

  • VOA News

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says Israel will not move ahead with the peace process until the Palestinian Authority acts against militant groups.

Mr. Olmert made the comment during a Cabinet meeting on Sunday, two days after Palestinian gunmen killed two Israeli hikers near Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority has condemned the killings and says several suspects have been arrested.

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Nabil Abu Rdainah) said Sunday that the Palestinian Authority is taking steps to meet its security obligations.

In other news, the Israeli military says it fired on a group of militants preparing to plant explosives near the Gaza border fence. Palestinian sources say a Hamas militant was killed.

Separately, the European Union condemned the attempted smuggling of banned chemicals into Gaza disguised as EU aid.

Spokeswoman Alix de Mauny issued a statement Sunday in response to Israeli military reports that it had seized more than six tons of potassium nitrate, a chemical banned in Gaza because of its use in the manufacturing of explosives and rockets.

The military said the chemical was intended for use by militants in the Gaza Strip. Military officials said the potassium nitrate, also used as fertilizer, was hidden in sugar bags marked as humanitarian aid from the European Union.

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