The United States has urged Israelis and Palestinians to end the violence and return to the "path of peace," after Washington released the so-called "roadmap" for Middle East peace.
The plan was delivered earlier today (Wednesday) to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and new Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.
In Washington, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Mr. Bush remains committed to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He said Mr. Bush welcomes any contributions the two sides have to the document.
The three-phase plan released today (Wednesday) calls for an end to terror and violence, followed by a six-month long transition phase that will begin after Palestinian elections and culminate with Israeli-Palestinian negotiations aimed at a permanent status agreement for a two-state solution in 2005.
The Palestinians have repeatedly called for the immediate implementation of the roadmap, but while Israel says it agrees in principle, it has expressed reservations about certain provisions in the document.
Militant Palestinian group Hamas quickly rejected the plan today (Wednesday), saying it comes at the expense of the Palestinian people.
The release of the long-awaited peace plan comes hours after a suicide bomber killed himself and three Israelis outside a crowded Tel Aviv nightspot. Israeli police said the bomber carried a British passport, as did an accomplice, who authorities say fled the scene. Dozens were injured in the attack, for which militant groups Hamas and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades have claimed joint responsibility.