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Israel, Palestinians to sign truce Tuesday

[JURIST] Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon [official website; JURIST Newsmaker] and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas [BBC profile] will sign a truce on Tuesday at a summit being held in Egypt, according to reports. The truce will end four years of fighting and signals the revival of the US-backed "road map" [State Department press release] for the creation of a Palestinian state. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat [BBC profile] said the truce would begin after the summit and would lead to the establishment of joint committees to oversee the release of Palestinian prisoners and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the West Bank. Also on Monday, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [official website] announced [AFP story] that Lieutenant General William Ward [official profile] would become the US envoy to the region. BBC News has more on the truce agreement, and continuing coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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