U.S. holds new Mideast talks

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

JERUSALEM -- A U.S. mediator presided over a new round of Israeli-Palestinian truce talks Tuesday following two earlier stormy meetings that ended without result.

Despite reports that U.S. peace envoy Anthony Zinni had threatened after the last session to leave the region if negotiators couldn't make progress, American officials said he had no plans to go.

A Palestinian official said there was no real progress at the meeting and complained that Israel's continuing strikes were sabotaging international peace efforts. He said Solana earlier had promised to do all he could to stop those strikes.

On Tuesday, Israeli helicopters fired four rockets at a post of the elite Palestinian security unit Force 17. The post was evacuated before the attack, and a farmer was slightly injured by debris. One missile hit the main electricity line connecting the neighborhood to the Israeli grid, plunging it into darkness.

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