A long list of prominent intellectuals recently signed a petition calling for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to negotiate a cease-fire with Hamas.

The signatories of the petition - which was organized by the sponsors of the Geneva Initiative and will be published today - include the novelists Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua, David Grossman, Meir Shalev, Judith Katzir, Eli Amir, Savyon Liebrecht, Yehoshua Sobol and Dorit Rabinyan.

The petition, titled "Agreement with [Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas, cease-fire with Hamas," reads: "Israel has in the past negotiated with its worst enemies ... Now, the appropriate course of action is to negotiate with Hamas to reach a general cease-fire to prevent further suffering for both sides."

"We believe Israel is facing an opportunity to promote the peace process ahead of the regional peace summit planned for November," the document continued. "We urge the prime minister to strive to reach tangible agreements with the leadership of the Palestinian Authority and not miss this opportunity."

Asked what impact he believes the petition will have, A.B. Yehoshua said: "Only reality will show how significant this petition will be."