In a press conference on Tuesday evening in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that peace demands painful concessions, but blamed the Palestinians for the ongoing violence in the Middle East.

He also called for a ceasefire, and a return to the negotiating table. "If the Palestinians accept the cease-fire proposal, we will implement it immediately," he said.

The prime minister said that he views the Mitchell report as the basis for moving forward with a peace dialogue.

The proposal, written by an international commission and published Monday in New York, called on Palestinians to jail militants and on Israel to freeze settlement expansion.

It asked both parties to abide by a U.S.-brokered deal that they accepted last year, but have since violated.

Prime Minister Sharon also spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and told him that the report may help the parties break the cycle of violence.

When asked about expanding Israel's settlements, Sharon said that no more land would be expropriated for this purpose.