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PLO Calls on Militants to End Attacks

The leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization has urged militants to end attacks against Israel, saying such violence "harms our national interest."

The PLO executive committee made the appeal Sunday just hours after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon gave his military a free hand against militant groups in Gaza. Mr. Sharon accused newly-elected Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of doing nothing to curb attacks on Israelis.

The PLO statement said violence by militant groups gives Israel an excuse to obstruct Palestinian stability.

Palestinian officials say Mr. Abbas will meet with militants in Gaza Wednesday to urge them to agree to a cease-fire that must be reciprocated by the Jewish state.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.