Palestinian official says factions willing to halt attacks

Sunday, November 16, 2003

JERUSALEM -- Palestinian militant groups are willing to halt suicide bombings and other attacks if Israel promises to stop carrying out military operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a top Palestinian official said Saturday, holding out hope for a truce agreement.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath said militant factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, were supportive of the idea of an open-ended cease-fire.

However, Israel has refused to say whether it would agree to such cease-fire terms.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon have been preparing for a possible summit in the coming days to discuss peace moves.

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