In an interview with ABC news, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, "We have started to deal with the culture of violence, we stopped the culture of violence and the Palestinian people have started looking at it as something that should be condemned and it should stop."

Confirming the Palestinian commitment to the cease-fire declared in Sharm A-Sheikh summit in earlier in February, Abbas said violence was down 90 percent in the past four months and he was optimistic for the future.

"I believe it is over," Abbas said in response to a question "whether the era of suicide bombing was over."

Suicide bombers have been a tool used by some of the Palestinian resistance groups to respond to the Israeli violence, in the last ten years of the 57 years of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel claims it foiled many attacks planned by the resistance, who strongly deny that, saying they are committed to the calm declared by Palestinian factions in Cairo talks in March, despite the ongoing violations by Israel.

Asked about peace talks between the Palestinians and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Abbas said he hoped meetings set to begin next month would be fruitful.

"If we have meetings … without any results there will be disappointment on the Palestinian side and the Palestinians will feel that there is no hope of these meetings."

Washington decided to expand the role of its security envoy Gen. William Ward, to include working with Israelis and Palestinians on increasing security cooperation, a senior Bush administration official said.

U.S. and Israeli sources said the administration had concluded more direct U.S. intervention was needed to increase coordination before Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza.

The Palestinian Authority hoped Israel would cease its activities against wanted Palestinians, and warned this issue may end the calm period.

There are at least 450 Palestinians wanted by Israel security. The 450 are divided into those wanted Palestinians Israel has announced it would not hunt down and those it would continue to pursue.

At the top of the list of wanted Palestinians Israel said it would continue to pursue are senior Hamas member Muhammad Def and Popular Resistance Committees member Jamal Abu-Samahanda.