24 June 2008
Egyptian and Israeli leaders met to discuss a proposed prisoner swapbetween Israel and Hamas, as well as the security situation in the GazaStrip following a truce
In theWest Bank city of Bethlehem, French President Nicolas Sarkozy heldtalks Tuesday with moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Mr.Sarkozy, who wrapped up a three-day visit to Israel and the Palestinianterritories, said Israel's security is non-negotiable for France, butthat Israel should freeze settlement activity in the West Bank. TheFrench president also strongly condemned Hamas militants, saying peacecannot be created through terrorism.
Mr. Sarkozy's departurefrom Israel was marred when an Israeli border policeman committedsuicide about 100 meters from where the departure ceremony was takingplace. As a gunshot rang out security officials quickly moved Mr.Sarkozy and his wife to their plane cutting short the ceremony.