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Olmert, Abbas Expected to Meet Thursday in Jordan


Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are expected to meet at an international gathering in Jordan this week.

Jordanian officials say the two will attend a breakfast Thursday hosted by Jordan's King Abdullah as part of a forum for Nobel laureates in Petra.

It would be the first meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders since Mr. Olmert took office last month.

Meanwhile, residents of the Israeli town of Sderot are staging protests to demand a stronger Israeli response to rocket attacks by Palestinian militants. Israeli officials say Palestinian militants have fired about 130 rockets at Sderot in the past 10 days. The homemade rockets rarely cause deaths or heavy damage.

In other news, a new Palestinian opinion poll says three-quarters of residents of the West Bank and Gaza support a statehood document that implicitly recognizes Israel, although there was much less support for a referendum on the document.

Mr. Abbas has set July 26 as the date for a referendum on the statehood proposal, unless the Hamas-led government agrees to accept it.

Hamas, which is sworn to Israel's destruction, has opposed key parts of the document.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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