Abbas hints support for transition period

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TEL AVIV, Israel — President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority said in an interview aired Tuesday that he could accept an Israeli military presence in the West Bank for a three-year transition period as part of a peace deal. But Abbas said “whoever proposes 10 or 15 years for a transition” was not serious about an agreement.

The question of who should be responsible for security, particularly in the Jordan Valley, and for how long, has been central in the U.S.-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians that started this summer. Israel has long insisted that it can depend only on its own soldiers, and not an international force, while Palestinian leaders have repeatedly stated that not a single Israeli soldier could patrol in their future state.

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