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Rice working to move on peace deal in Middle-East

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will shuttle between Israel and the West Bank this week to help narrow gaps as Israel and the Palestinians try to frame contours of a final peace deal before a high stakes Mid-east conference.

Ms Rice today begins her third visit to the region since Islamic Hamas militants violently took over the Gaza Strip in mid-June.

She will meet with Palestinian and Israeli leaders to assess progress they have made on bridging divides ahead of the international conference, expected to take place in Annapolis, Maryland, at the end of November.

One measure of the success of the US-sponsored meeting will be how far the sides move beforehand toward resolving key areas of dispute, like final borders, sovereignty over disputed Jerusalem and a solution for Palestinians who lost their homes in the war that followed Israel's 1948 creation.

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