Egyptian and Palestinian officials began talks Tuesday with Palestinian militant leaders in Cairo to discuss a long-term ceasefire with Israel.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas wants a one-year truce to stop Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets. Some Palestinian militants are demanding Israel release prisoners and stop targeted killings of militant leaders. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says Palestinians must dismantle the militant groups in addition to agreeing to a ceasefire.
In Washington, President Bush and Jordan's King Abdullah welcomed Mr. Abbas' ceasefire proposal.
Meanwhile, Israeli and Palestinian officials held more talks ahead of Wednesday's planned transfer of security of the West Bank town of Jericho to the Palestinians. Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz warned the Palestinians against releasing militants jailed there, including Ahmed Saadat, who Israel says ordered the assassination of a government minister in 2001.