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Expectations Low For Mideast Roadmap

President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair meet in Northern Ireland Monday to discuss the Iraq war and a "roadmap" to revive the Middle East peace process.

However, the peace plan is running into obstacles, reports CBS News Correspondent Robert Berger, and expectations for its success are low.

Israeli officials say the roadmap will fail unless, as a first step, the Palestinians dismantle militant groups. But Palestinian Cabinet Minister Ghassan Khattib says Israel must take the first step "by an end of the Israeli siege, and continuous raids."

Meanwhile, an American peace activist has been seriously wounded in the West Bank.

Brian Avery, 24, from Albuquerque, N.M., heard shots fired and came out of his apartment building in Jenin to investigate just as an armored personnel carrier rounded a corner, said Tobias Karlsson, a fellow activist from Sweden.

Avery and Karlsson are members of the International Solidarity Movement, which uses nonviolent methods to protest the Israeli occupation. Members of the group often insert themselves as "human shields" between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers to try to stop Israeli military operations.

"We had our hands up and we were wearing vests that clearly identified us as international workers when they began firing," Karlsson said. "Brian was shot in the face, and it looks like he was hit by a heavy caliber bullet because of the extent of the wound."

The army said homemade firebombs were reportedly being thrown at troops and it returned fire at gunmen in the area, although it was not aware of hitting anyone. An officer said that Palestinians were also shooting, and it was unclear whose bullet hit Avery.

The U.S. State Department said it was looking into the report. Three weeks ago, another American activist was killed, when she was run over by an army bulldozer.

"The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and our Jerusalem consulate are now following up to find out what happened as well as confirm the identity and determine the welfare of the individual," State Department spokesman Lou Fintor said in a statement in Washington.

Karlsson said he, Avery and a Palestinian medical worker not with the group were approached slowly by the troops and stood with their hands up for about 10 minutes. There was no communication with the soldiers, who Karlsson says fired unprovoked.

Karlsson did not see gunmen in the area, and said few Palestinians were on the streets Saturday because of a curfew Israeli troops were enforcing.

Maria Santelli, an organizer with the New Mexico Solidarity Network, said Avery, whose birthday is Thursday, was an easygoing man known around Albuquerque for his community work, which included volunteering at a grocery cooperative.

Santelli said Avery had written home, saying he wanted to carry on the work of Rachel Corrie, another American member of the group was killed on March 16 while trying to stop an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip. She fell in front of the machine, which ran over her and then backed up, witnesses said.

"He just wrote about Rachel Corrie," Santelli said. "He was just letting people know back home what happened and that people were standing in her name and continuing her work."

Israeli officials say a bulldozer incident that killed the 23-year-old, a student at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., was an accident and that the driver didn't see her. The driver is back on the job, the army said Saturday.

Elsewhere, the trial of Marwan Barghouti, the highest-ranking Palestinian political leader in Israeli custody, opened Sunday in a Tel Aviv court with Barghouti refusing to contest the murder charges against him and flashing V-signs at friends.

Barghouti is accused of complicity in attacks by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement in which 26 Israelis were killed. Barghouti was Fatah's West Bank leader when he was snatched by troops a year ago. Seen as a possible Arafat successor, he says is a political leader and not involved in violence.

Barghouti refused to mount a defense, saying the judges have no jurisdiction because he is a member of the Palestinian parliament. Turning to the bench, he said: "This court only represents the Israeli occupation. I do not relate to this dirty process of lies."

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