Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is said to have lifted a ban on peace talks with the Palestinians. Israel´s army is also reported to have suspended its targeted assassinations of militant leaders in sectors where new Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas´s forces are guaranteeing calm and security.
Already working to prevent terror attacks against Israelis, hundreds more Palestinian troops are now set to be deployed in a part of Gaza where Jewish settlements are frequently targeted. On Monday, Palestinian police said they had thwarted an attack by confiscating three rockets from militants.
Such efforts are ushering in a calm unknown in the last years before the death of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in November.