Suicide strike shakes Tel Aviv

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 30, 2003

JERUSALEM (AP) - U.S. Ambassador Dan Kurtzer met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon today to present him with an internationally backed Mideast peace plan that envisions Palestinian statehood within three years.

A convoy of diplomatic vehicles pulled up to Sharon's house in Jerusalem this afternoon and a diplomatic source confirmed that Kurtzer arrived.

Terje Larsen, the United Nations envoy to the Middle East, said in the West Bank town of Ramallah that the so-called ''road map'' would be presented to Abbas about 90 minutes later.

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The delivery to Sharon came hours after Mahmoud Abbas was sworn in as Palestinian prime minister and a suicide attacker killed three others at a Tel Aviv bar. A militia tied to Abbas' own Fatah movement claimed responsibility, along with the Islamic militant group Hamas.

The peace plan was drafted by the so-called Quartet of Mideast mediators: the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia.

It calls for an immediate cease-fire, a crackdown on Palestinian militias, an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian towns and the dismantling of Jewish settlements erected since 2001. A Palestinian state with provisional borders could be established by year's end, with full statehood possibly achieved within three years, according to the timetable.