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UPDATED: 13:28, May 05, 2007
U.S. offers suggestions to ease Israel-Palestine tensions
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The United States has recommended a series of steps that Israel and the Palestinians could take to ease continuing tensions, State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said Friday.

Noting the steps are suggestions, Casey said the measures are related to implementing phase one of the road map peace plan for the region.

They include calls for Israel to ease the burden on the Palestinian people by removing roadblocks and other barriers to give them better trade and business access, the spokesman said.

In addition, they also call for the Palestinians to ensure that any Israeli moves are not met with an increase in attacks, he said.

Prior to Casey's statement, Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator, has denied reports of new American security plan for Israel and Palestinians.

According to a report by Israeli daily Haaretz in late April, the U.S. plan based on easing restrictions on the movement of the Palestinians in exchange for ensuring Israel's security.

"There is no thing called freedom of movement in return for security," said Erekat, adding "We just asked the Americans to help us removing (Israeli) checkpoints and giving us freedom on passing through the crossings."

Source: Xinhua

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