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Palestinian Official: 'Small Window' of Hope

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Palestinian Official: 'Small Window' of Hope

Middle East

Palestinian Official: 'Small Window' of Hope

Palestinian Official: 'Small Window' of Hope

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Nabil Shaath Julia Buckley, NPR hide caption

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Julia Buckley, NPR

A top Palestinian official says he's hopeful that a "small window" of opportunity exists for peace with Israel in the wake of this month's cease-fire agreement.

But Nabil Shaath, foreign minister for the Palestinian Authority, says Israel is moving too slowly on removing roadblocks, withdrawing Israeli forces from West Bank cities, and discussing which Palestinian prisoners should be released next.

"If people do not see the fruits of this agreement soon, they will allow provocateurs and others to incite us into, once again, disbelief that the Israelis are really serious in ending their occupation," Shaath tells NPR's Robert Siegel, who is reporting from the Middle East this week.

Editor's Note: On Feb. 24, 2005, Shaath became deputy prime minister and information minister as part of a new Palestinian Cabinet.