Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has cut all ties with the Palestinian Authority and closed the border with Gaza after militants killed six Israeli civilians Thursday. Mr. Sharon's office says Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who will be sworn in on Saturday, must rein in militants and stop their attacks before contacts will be resumed.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell says he hopes the freeze in communication will only be temporary and says Mr. Abbas must bring the militants under control. Palestinian Cabinet minister Saeb Erekat called on Mr. Sharon to reconsider, saying the best way to restart the peace process is to resume dialogue. Mr. Abbas condemned Thursday's attack and the deadly Israeli raids that followed, saying they do not benefit the peace process.