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Israel Welcomes Palestinian Truce Plan


Israel has welcomed a pledge by Palestinian militants to extend an informal truce through the end of this year, but it also says that terms of the cease-fire do not go far enough.

Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Israel Army Radio Friday, that the Palestinian groups are making an effort to curtail terrorist activity, but that the militants must do more to disarm their fighters.

During talks in Cairo on Thursday, 13 Palestinian militant groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, agreed to stop their attacks against Israel until at least the end of the year. In return, the militant groups say Israel should agree to halt military operations targeting them, and release more prisoners.

In another development Friday, the army announced that Israeli citizens are now banned from relocating to Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip, due to Israel's planned withdrawal from the area later this year.

Settlers who oppose Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw from Gaza in July have vowed to bring tens of thousands of people into the coastal area to resist the evacuation.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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