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.
However, Israel has refused to say whether it would agree to such cease-fire terms, while a top Islamic militant leader has ruled out an immediate end to attacks on Israelis.
Bringing about a truce between Israel and the Palestinians is seen as a key step in efforts to revitalize the U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan that has stalled amid violence and Palestinian political crises.
An agreement could help strengthen new Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia after an earlier cease-fire, secured by his predecessor, collapsed over the summer.
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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