SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt (israel today). Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas declared a truce at a summit here in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, with the aim of ending more than four years of bloodshed. The leaders shook hands and smiled, and officials on both sides joked with each other--an almost surreal spectacle considering the years of bitter enmity and conflict. “A new opportunity for peace is born today, “Abbas said, “so let us protect it.” Sharon said he hopes Abbas will lead his people to a Palestinian state living alongside Israel in peace. Egypt and Jordan responded by returning their ambassadors to Israel, who were withdrawn four years ago in protest over Israeli actions against the Palestinians.
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