Israel welcomes truce

Friday, March 18, 2005 | 
After an initially cautious reaction, Israel has welcomed the truce declaration by Palestinian terrorist groups meeting in Cairo, and said it, too, would abide by the cease-fire. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the decision by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others to halt attacks for the rest of the year was a positive first step. But Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reiterated Israel’s long-standing position that eventually, the terror groups must be dismantled. “Is it [the truce] enough? Of course not," Olmert told Army Radio. "Is the significance here that the Palestinian Authority is carrying out a war on terrorism? Definitely not. But they are certainly making an effort…We are interested in a complete halt to terrorism, and every step on the road to ending terrorism is positive.”

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