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Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s deputy, Mahmoud Abbas, met in Tel Aviv in an effort to break the stalemated peace process. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet that he intends to reach an agreement with the Palestinians as soon as possible. Palestinian officials charged that Netanyahu was using the talks as a pretext for postponing a further redeployment in the West Bank. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Martin Indyk warned of an “explosive situation” if the talks fail.

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