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Mideast Leaders Reach Agreement

October 17, 2000

SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt (AP) _ Israel and the Palestinians agreed Tuesday to end the street violence that has torn their region apart for more than two weeks and to get back on the path toward a permanent solution to their conflict.

Both sides agreed to a cease-fire, but violence continued in the immediate aftermath of the agreement at an emergency summit. Both sides also agreed to explore a resumption in the negotiations for a permanent peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

``After 48 hours if we see there is calm in the field we will pull back our heavy equiptment to the point where they were before the outbreak of the crisis and we will lift the closure″ that has kept Palestinians out of his country ,″ Prime Minister Ehud Barak of Israel told a news conference upon his return home.

``Let me emphasize that the real test of all the understandings and agreements is implementation,″ the prime minister added.

For his part, Jibril Rajoub, the Palestinian security chief in the West Bank, said, ``The ball is now in the Israeli court. It’s they who created this crisis, they are the ones who used acts of killing and terrorism against our people. What is needed now is for them to take all the necessary measures to stop this violence.″

President Clinton did not use the term ``cease-fire″ in announcing the accord at the end of a two-day emergency summit meeting at this seaside resort. Instead, he said both sides agreed on ``immediate concrete measures″ to end the violence.

``I believe we have made real progress today,″ Clinton said. ``Repairing the damage will take time.″


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