Jericho, West Bank
Israel will transfer control of the ancient town of Jericho to the Palestinians this week, Israeli officials said. The West Bank town is the first of five to be turned over to the authority of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The turnover was agreed on at a Feb. 8 summit between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. But it has been repeatedly delayed, first because of disputes over borders and then because of a Palestinian suicide bombing that killed five Israelis. Abbas urged Israel to speed up transferring control of the West Bank towns, accusing it of unjustified reluctance to keep its promises.