JERUSALEM – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday that the Palestinians and Israel intend to resume negotiations.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas broke off talks at the beginning of the week to protest an exceptionally deadly Israeli military assault in the Gaza Strip, where militants affiliated with the ruling Islamic Hamas movement have been barraging southern Israel with rockets.
Earlier Wednesday he said he would not resume negotiations until Israel reaches a truce in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Rice, speaking at a news conference in Jerusalem with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, declined to call for a truce, and urged Hamas to halt its rocket fire.
Rice also told a news conference in Jerusalem that a U.S. general would hold his first meeting next week with the two sides on implementing the internationally backed "road map" peace plan.