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Palestine Peace Talks Tabled During Sabbath

Sat., Sept. 23, 1995, midnight

Hopes that Israel and the PLO would agree Friday on broadening Palestinian autonomy disappeared after renewed squabbles ate up negotiating time shortened by the onset of the Jewish Sabbath.

But Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO leader Yasser Arafat told a news conference the talks would resume after the Sabbath ends tonight.

“We are sure we will … finish it in the next few hours tomorrow night,” Arafat said.

Agreement apparently was scuttled by last-minute hitches over a timetable for releasing about 5,500 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, the size of an autonomous zone around the West bank city of Jericho, and the fate of the disputed city of Hebron.

Both Arafat and Peres appeared exhausted after nearly 60 hours of face-to-face talks since Sunday.

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