No Quick Fix On Hebron

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JERUSALEM: Despite efforts of U.S. Mideast special envoy Dennis Ross, a meeting today between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yasser Arafat ended without a resolution on Hebron. While the three-hour talk was "extremely productive," according to Ross, the two leaders could not agree on a plan for pulling out troops from the West Bank city. Other issues of contention: joint Israeli-Palestinian patrols, the right of "hot pursuit" for Israeli police into Palestinian territory, and a timetable for promised Israeli withdrawals from more rural areas of the West Bank. Israel was scheduled to remove soldiers from Hebron in March, but delayed the pullout after a wave of suicide bombings in Israel. Neither Netanyahu nor Arafat spoke to the press following their meeting at the Erez Crossing between Israel and autonomous Gaza. Ross told reporters that he felt the conversation on Hebron was "energized" and said that each side negotiated in good faith. But, he cautioned, "I wouldn't expect one meeting to conclude this."