Positive signs from Palestine?
AP reports that some Palestinian militants linked to Abbas have agreed to a cease fire.
A militant group linked to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' ruling Fatah faction announced Saturday it is ready to stop violence if Israel halts military operations, and Israeli officials indicated that they are considering the idea.The world holds its collective breath, reticent to cheer until the truce holds, hoping for something positive to come from the Palestinians. Could this be it? The final breakthrough?
The armed groups want Israel to stop arrest raids and targeted killings of wanted Palestinians in exchange for a truce. In the past, Israel refused to promise the militants amnesty, despite requests by Egyptian mediators who have said they could not seal a truce deal without such Israeli guarantees.
However, two advisers to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Saturday that a halt in Palestinian attacks could prompt the Israeli military to hold back.
"If there will be quiet on the Palestinian side, then there will be quiet on our side, because all of our military operations are only meant to stop terrorism," said Zalman Shoval, a Sharon adviser. Brig. Gen. Giora Eiland, head of Israel's National Security Council, told Israel Radio that quiet would be met by quiet.
Only time will tell.