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|Wednesday, July 26, 2000, updated at 21:08(GMT+8)|
Barak Phones Faction Leaders on Camp David SummitIsraeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak spoke to the heads of various political parties Wednesday from his plane en route to Israel from Washington and briefed them on the just concluded Camp David summit.
The party leaders Barak spoke to included Yossi Sarid of Meretz, Eli Yishai of Shas and Yosef Lapid of Shinui, according to Israel Radio.
Barak is believed to have discussed with the party leaders about the formation of a new government upon his return from the summit.
Yishai said that Barak had asked him to brief Shas mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef on the failure of the summit.
Yishai also said that he will meet with Barak on Thursday to discuss the formation of the new government, but adding that Shas would not "automatically" return to the coalition.
Shas, which has 17 seats in the 120-member Knesset (parliament), left the coalition on the eve of Barak's departure for the summit two weeks ago.
The Camp David summit, attended by Barak, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and US President Bill Clinton, failed to reach an agreement on final-status issues after two weeks of intensive negotiations.
The key issues discussed at the summit included the fate of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, settlements, borders and water.
Announcing the failure of the summit on Tuesday, Clinton said the two sides had made "significant progress" on all core issues that had been discussed during the summit.
The failure of the summit is liable to result in a "controlled escalation" of hostilities that could go as far as a "wide conflict" between Israel and the Palestinians, Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Shaul Mofaz warned again on Wednesday.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has sent senior officers to the field in an attempt to prevent an escalation, he added.
The IDF is doing everything possible to prevent hostilities and is keeping in touch with Palestinian officers to maintain quietness and the IDF will do all in its power to protect settlers and settlements, he stressed.
In another development, Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh went on Wednesday to Elon Moreh, northeast of the West Bank city of Nablus, to discuss security matters with the leaders of Jewish settlers.
Sneh urged the settler leaders to do their utmost to avoid provocations following the failure of the summit.
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