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PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATORS SEEK 'FULL SOVEREIGNTY'

Israel must allow free movement in and out of the Gaza Strip, relinquish control over some border crossings and establish a "safe passage" to the West Bank as part of its planned withdrawal this summer, Palestinian negotiators said Sunday.

The demands were also contained in a four-page paper on Palestinian preparations for the pullout, which was presented to senior U.S. envoys several days ago.

In the document, the Palestinian Authority writes that it seeks "full . . . sovereignty over the land borders, regional waters and airspace of these areas, including securing an international presence."

Israel has staunchly opposed relinquishing control over crossings into Gaza, amid concerns that Palestinian militants could use free passage to bring large amounts of weapons into the territory.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said Sunday that raising such issues now would only divert the two sides from what he said should be their focus -- coordinating the Gaza pullout.

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