Israel Considering Cease-Fire Proposal (AP) By MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH RAMALLAH 01/27/05 8:21 AM)
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RAMALLAH, West Bank - Israel is ready to consider a mutual cease-fire
declaration, a Palestinian negotiator said Thursday, as the
Palestinian leadership barred Palestinians from carrying weapons and
prepared to deploy police in some of the most volatile areas of the
Gaza Strip over the weekend.
The order banning civilians from carrying arms was the latest sign of
the Palestinians´ intentions to rein in violence amid signals that a
peace process can be resumed. In some areas of the West Bank and
Gaza, Palestinian militants often openly brandish their automatic
weapons, highlighting the lack of law and order and control by
Palestinian security forces.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas won praise from Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon and visiting U.S. envoy William Burns for his
efforts to halt violence.
Abbas has won assurances from armed groups that they will halt
attacks on Israel, provided Israel stops military operations,
including arrest raids and targeted killings of Palestinian
fugitives. Abbas told reporters Thursday that he expects to hear from
Israel "as soon as possible" on his offer of a cease-fire declaration.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia issued the gun-banning order
after a meeting of the security cabinet, minister Saeb Erekat said.
(Copyright 2005 Associated Press. 01/27/05)
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