Clinton Meets with PA Leaders in West Bank

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RAMALLAH, West Bank - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrapped up her first visit to Israel in meetings with Palestinian Authority PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah on Wednesday.

Clinton traveled to Ramallah under heavy security, which included two temporary checkpoints blocking access by local Arabs to highways leading to Jerusalem.

PA security forces brandishing assault rifles lined access roads to Ramallah.

Following her meetings with Abbas and Fayyad, Clinton reiterated the U.S. commitment for the establishment of a Palestinian state and complimented Fayyad on his plans for the Gaza Strip.

Clinton also met briefly with several young students studying English and told them of a new U.S. initiative that would provide grants for Palestinian universities as well as opportunities to study in the States.

"For a Palestinian state to be prosperous, accountable to its people and be able to live up to its obligations in the international community, it has to have more people who can do the job in the 21st century," Clinton told the students.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military says its air force has fired on three smuggling tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border.

The tunnels are used to smuggle arms and ammunition into Gaza.

The airstrikes were in response to rocket attacks on Israel the day before.

Source: The Associated Press

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