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Israel Dismisses Palestinian Cease-Fire Offer - 2003-09-16

A senior advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has brushed aside a Palestinian cease-fire offer. Dore Gold said the Palestinian Authority must instead show it is serious about disarming terrorist groups.

Mr. Gold said yet another cease-fire offer from the Palestinians is of little interest to Israel, unless it is the kind of truce outlined in the internationally-backed road map to peace.

"The Palestinians must provide first and foremost an unconditional cease-fire," he said. The cease-fire has to contain security steps. This includes dismantling of the terrorist infrastructure."

Earlier, Yasser Arafat's top national security advisor, Jibril Rajoub told Israeli radio the Palestinian Authority wants to reach a full, permanent truce. He said the Palestinians would promise to halt all violence if Israel agrees to end its military operations in Palestinian areas and lift its blockade of Palestinian towns.

Mr. Rajoub did not specify how the Palestinian Authority would deal with militant groups such as Islamic Jihad and Hamas, which have carried out most of the attacks against Israel.