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Olmert, Abbas meet on Gaza crisis
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Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (R) shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during their meeting in Jerusalem January 27, 2008, in this picture released by the Israeli Government.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during their meeting on Sunday that Israel will resume the flow of humanitarian aid and fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip.

During a two-hour tete-a-tete meeting with Abbas that focused on the Gaza Strip border crisis at his official residence in Jerusalem, Olmert pledged that Israel would not disrupt the supply of food and medicine into the Gaza Strip, local Ha'aretz said.

Abbas, for his part, demanded that Israel take steps to minimize the civilian population's hardship in the coastal enclave.

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (R) stands across from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during their meeting in Jerusalem January 27, 2008, in this picture released by the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO). 

Following the meeting between Olmert and Abbas, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and head of the Palestinian negotiations team, Ahmed Qureia, began their talks.

David Baker, a spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office, was quoted by local Ynet website as saying that Olmert and Abbas did not discuss the issue of Rafah crossing at the Gaza-Egypt border to great length, since Abbas is scheduled to meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday and discuss the matter.

Earlier on Sunday, Israel announced that it will resume fuel shipments to Gaza, but saying that "should the rocket fire continues, we will consider limiting the supplies again."

Nearly two weeks ago, Israeli government ordered to seal all the border crossings leading to the Gaza Strip as a retaliation for dozens of Qassam rockets and mortar shells fired by Gaza's militants at Sderot and rural communities in the western Negev. Since the closure, Gaza fuel supply has reached critical levels.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians flocked into the Sinai Peninsula last week to stock up on food and fuel in short supply after the Gaza-Egypt border fence was partially destroyed by militants.

(Xinhua News Agency January 28, 2008)

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