Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories this month in a new US effort to revive the “roadmap” peace plan. The visit comes after a wave of tit-for-tat attacks sparked by a Palestinian suicide bombing last week that killed five Israelis. Officials say Rice will urge Israel to halt settlement activity and return to peace talks, and she'll press the Palestinians to crack down on terrorism. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said that he will not return to peace talks until Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas takes steps to dismantle terrorist groups.
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