Mideast Peace Plan Distributed Hours After Homicide Bombing

International diplomatic officials handed a long-awaited Mideast peace plan to region leaders Wednesday, just hours after Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (search) was sworn in and a homicide bomber killed three bystanders and injured 50 more at a Tel Aviv bar.

The U.S.-backed "road map" - a peace plan for the region - was drafted by the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia.

It calls for an immediate cease-fire, a crackdown on Palestinian militias, an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian towns and the dismantling of Jewish settlements erected since 2001. A Palestinian state with provisional borders could be established by year's end, with full statehood possible within three years, according to the timetable.

The U.S. ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer (search), presented the plan for Middle East peacemaking Wednesday to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at his Jerusalem home.

The plan was presented just hours after a homicide bombing that underscored the difficulties Abbas will face in disarming Palestinian militias - a key obligation in the first stage of the three-phase road map to Palestinian statehood.

The plan was presented to Abbas in the West Bank town of Ramallah later Wednesday by Terje Larsen, the United Nations envoy to the Middle East. Abbas will be invited to the White House to meet with Bush.

The bomber struck about 1 a.m. Wednesday, blowing himself up outside Mike's Place, a pub and restaurant popular with foreigners and just a few yards from the heavily guarded U.S. Embassy. The embassy wasn't damaged.

A security guard stopped the bomber at the entrance to the crowded pub. The guard was badly wounded.

The pub's owner, Gal Ganzman, his shirt covered with blood, was standing behind the bar when he heard the explosion. "I'm alive, I'm fine," he said. "One of the waitresses lost an arm but she's still alive."

Three bystanders and the bomber were killed, and 55 people wounded. Twenty people remained hospitalized later Wednesday, including six who were in serious condition.

A militia tied to Abbas' own Fatah (search) movement claimed responsibility, along with the Islamic militant group Hamas.

A spokesman for the Fatah-linked militia, the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, said the attack was a message to the new prime minister that "nobody can disarm the resistance movements without a political solution." The bomber came from the West Bank city of Tulkarem.

At least one American was injured in the blast. Jack Baxter, a 50-year-old documentarian from New York City, was injured while working on a documentary about Mike's Place. He was due home from Israel on Wednesday, his father told The New York Post.

"It sounded like a lot of Americans probably went [to the pub]," said Baxter's father, Billy.

Baxter may be best known for his 1994 documentary about the assassination of Malcolm X.

In his inaugural speech to the Palestinian parliament Tuesday, Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, hinted at a future crackdown on militias, saying that "the unauthorized possession of weapons ... is a major concern that will be relentlessly addressed."

Israeli Cabinet Minister Dan Naveh said the bombing indicated that "there are still many factions within the PLO and the Fatah that are interested in continuing the attacks.

"As long as Abu Mazen is in his position but Arafat continues to go behind his back and encourages the terror, we will not see a change," Naveh told Israel Radio.

It was the 89th homicide bombing targeting Israelis in the past 31 months. Since September 2000, 2,287 people have been killed on the Palestinian side, and 763 people on the Israeli side.

The Islamic militant movement Hamas warned it had no intention of disarming or ending attacks on Israelis.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Nancy Beck said "there can be no excuse for the violence and terrorist attacks the Israeli people have been forced to endure." She said the U.S. goal is a Palestinian state living peacefully alongside Israel.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned the attack and urged both sides "to exercise maximum restraint and begin the implementation of the road map that will be presented shortly."

In his inaugural speech, Abbas pledged to disarm militias - a move that could set up a violent showdown between the Palestinian Authority and militant groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

"The president looks forward to working with the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people as well as the Israeli government and the Israeli people to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East," said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer.

Secretary of State Colin Powell will travel to the area to try to advance Palestinian statehood once the newly confirmed cabinet begins its work. The U.S. diplomat will leave Washington for Spain on Thursday and go from there to Albania, Syria and Lebanon.

After a few days' respite back in Washington, he's expected to go to Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Germany and Russia.

Powell already has said he will apply pressure on both sides to carry out the "road map" schedule through 2005. It would create two states -- one Jewish, one Palestinian -- living side by side in peace.

That means Israel would have to transfer West Bank territory and Gaza to the Palestinians. Whether the Bush administration intends to try to include part of Jerusalem in the deal has not been disclosed, probably because it is an explosive issue.

Declaring he hoped Abbas would speak out immediately about terrorism, Powell told a Senate committee this week that progress toward peace "is going to require acceptance of obligations, performance, by both sides."

Pushing for a Palestinian state after conquering Iraq is also seen as a way to mitigate anti-U.S. feelings among the Arabs.

Abbas affirmed his acceptance of the road map, but rejected changes demanded by Israel, saying: "The road map must be implemented, not negotiated."

Israel says Palestinians must stop all violence before it makes any peace moves.

The United States and Israel have been boycotting Arafat, whom they accuse of abetting terrorism.

Israel will wait to make up its mind about Abbas.

"Any Palestinian government and any prime minister will be judged by two criteria - the extent to which he will execute the most urgent, necessary reforms in government and the extent to which he's going to perform the necessary steps to stop terrorism," said Raanan Gissin, an adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Gissin said Sharon was ready, in principle, to invite Abbas for talks in Jerusalem.

Fox News' Jennifer Griffin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.