Israel Gives Palestinians Deal Deadline
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By AMY TEIBEL Associated Press Writer
May 10,2006 | JERUSALEM -- Israel on Wednesday gave the Palestinians until the end of the year to prove they are willing to negotiate a final peace deal, or prepare for the Israeli government to unilaterally set final borders by 2008.
Meanwhile, the Israeli company that is the sole provider of fuel to the West Bank and Gaza Strip has halted deliveries because of growing debt, and Palestinian officials have warned that supplies would run out by Thursday.
"If this happens, there will be a humanitarian crisis," the head of the Palestinian Petrol Commission, Mujahid Salame, said.
In presenting the Israeli timetable for a West Bank pullout, Justice Minister Haim Ramon said Israel would keep open the possibility of negotiations until the end of this year. "Through the end of this year, 2006, there will be honest attempts to talk to the other side," Ramon, a close associated of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said.