Israel Will Leave Areas of West Bank

WASHINGTON?Israel has told the United States it will withdraw from its recent incursions deep into the West Bank, a commitment necessary for the prospect of a cease-fire with the Palestinians, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday.

Powell, attending an Asian Pacific economic summit in China, said he spoke earlier with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

?Hopefully, the Israelis will be able to leave the territory that they have occupied recently,? Powell said.

Sharon ?said he did not plan to stay in those areas. And I hope they will finish what they?re doing, remove themselves as quickly as they can so that we can get back to a process that hopefully will lead to a cease-fire,? Powell said.

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres told U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York that Israel does not intend to stay in the areas it entered.