Considering a Cease-Fire?

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In the endless turbulence and tragedy of the Middle East, four Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were killed in Gaza City today.

Still, there is talk of a cease-fire on the Palestinian side, a three-month agreement between Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad under which they would all agree to halt violence against all Israelis, including soldiers, civilians and settlers in Gaza and the West Bank.

Israeli officials aren’t impressed. A temporary end to suicide bombings, they say, falls far short of the full dismantling of the militant groups that they consider a prerequisite to peace.

There are also questions about the U.S. position, as the American National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice prepares for her weekend trip to the region.

Could this cease-fire be a new mark on the road map to peace in the Middle East, or, as some skeptics say, a chance for the Palestinian militant groups to regroup and rearm?


Boaz Ganor, Executive Director, Institute for Counter Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya

Saeb Erekat, head negotiator for the PLO and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council

Ambassador Dennis Ross, Director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Barbara Plett, BBC Correspondent in Ramallah