The Israeli and Palestinian leaders have declared a cease-fire, and the United States says it is ready to help both sides bring stability to the region.
At an Egyptian summit on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announced a formal end to four and a-half years of Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed. They called the cease-fire just the beginning of a long process to bridge differences between the two sides.
Hours later in Paris, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Israel and the Palestinians to move forward with the stalled Mideast peace process.
The Egyptian summit is the highest-level meeting between the two sides since the intifada erupted in September of 2000, after the collapse of the peace process. More than 3,300 Palestinians and nearly 1,000 Israelis have been killed in the violence.
Today's accord caps a thaw in Middle East diplomacy that began weeks before Palestinians elected Mr. Abbas president of the Palestinian Authority last month.