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Bush Backtracking On Peace Promises To Palestine

Bush Sounds Backtracking on His Vision Promised to Palestinians


Arafat Ready to Take on Violators of Law, Provided Israel Stops Attacks

US President George W. Bush on Tuesday sounded to Palestinians as if backtracking on his promised vision of a two-solution of the Palestinian – Israeli conflict when he put the Palestinian anti-Israeli occupation resistance on the same footing with the terrorists the United States is waging war on since September 11, 2001.

Bush on Tuesday -- ignoring completely the Israeli extra-judicial assassinations, Israeli non-compliance with the “roadmap” to Middle East peace plan, and the 36-year old Israeli occupation -- called on all leaders in the region, and the Palestinians specifically, to starve support from extremist groups who target Israel with violence.

"Now is the time for every true friend of the Palestinian people, every leader in the Middle East, and the Palestinian people themselves to cut off all money and support from terrorists and actively fight terror on all fronts,” he said in a speech in Missouri Tuesday.

Addressing the 85th annual American Legion National Convention in St. Louis on Tuesday, Bush said: "Only then can Israel be secure and the flag rise over an independent Palestine, as called for under a US-backed peace plan known as the "roadmap," Bush added.

Elaborating, he added: “In Jerusalem, as in Baghdad, terrorists are trying to undermine the hopes of peace with acts of violence. Their desperation also grows as the parties move closer to a just settlement. But terrorists do not speak for the Palestinian people. They do not serve the Palestinian cause. And a Palestinian state will never be built on the foundation of violence.”

Palestinian Leadership Sees Differently

“America is a nation that understands its responsibilities and keeps its word,” Bush said.

However the Palestinian leadership sees otherwise and has recently accused the US Administration of allowing for Israel to “negotiate the roadmap instead of implementing it,” and of showing no major sign to curb the Israeli escalating aggression against the Palestinian people and of encouraging the Israeli government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to undermine the Cabinet of premier Mahmud Abbas and killing the Hudna (ceasefire) declared by Palestinian factions on June 29.

The PNA criticized US Administration of allowing for Israel to “negotiate” the “roadmap” plan instead of “implementing” it, which contributed to the currently deteriorating security situation on the ground as Israel is launching an all-embracing war on the Palestinian people with the aim of offsetting the successes of Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas government and derailing the peace process away from implementing the Quartet-adopted Middle East peace plan.

“The only message the envoys to PNA ought to carry out is a message to Washington,” the PNA Minister of Cabinet Affairs Yasser Abed Rabbo told Aljazeera satellite TV station on Friday.

“The US Administration has allowed for Israel to negotiate the roadmap instead of obliging it to implement it,” he added.

On Tuesday Abed Rabbo said the 3-month Hudna or cease-fire declared on June 29 by Palestinian resistance groups was facing the danger of collapse if the United States failed to pressure Israel to lift its suffocating restrictions on Palestinians.

“The situation can't continue like this,” he said.

Last Thursday the Hudna did collapse with Israel’s extra-judicial assassination of Hamas political leader Ismael Abu Shanab in Gaza, which Palestinian PM Abbas described as an “ugly crime” and the Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan condemned as an “extra-judicial measure.”

Arafat Ready to Implement Law, Provided Israel Stops Attacks

President Yasser Arafat said on Wednesday he was ready to take action against the violators of Palestinian law and public order if Israel halted missile strikes and other attacks on them.

“I am prepared to implement the law on condition Israel stops its attacks,” Arafat said in an interview with Reuters, without elaborating on steps he would take.

He said he had ordered the arrests of Hamas and other leaders earlier in a 35-month-old uprising against Israeli occupation and that he would do so again, but not if Israel kept up attacks.

Arafat said he wanted to embrace the US-backed “roadmap” peace plan and called on Washington to rein in Israel.

“Isn't the roadmap binding on Israel too? We were in control many times including our success in reaching a cease-fire but it was violated many times in a persistent and rude manner by most Israeli political and military leaders,” he said.

Arafat spoke after Israel botched a missile strike on Hamas activists in Gaza on Tuesday night and killed an elderly bystander, 65, and injured 26 more, including 6 children, instead.

The Palestine National Authority’s (PNA) Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has condemned Israel’s latest missile attack in the Gaza Strip.

Abu Mazen said the Israeli Government should follow the American-backed peace plan known as the “roadmap” instead of carrying out attacks, which he said escalate the violence.

"This brutal Israeli government policy will only take us back to the vicious circle of violence. Israel must understand that there is no military solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” Abbas said in Gaza.

The Israeli new extra-judicial assassination in Gaza Tuesday coincided with the arrival of PM Abbas in the city for crisis meetings in a bid to salvage the international “roadmap” for peace.

Arafat’s media adviser Nabil Abu Rudeina said the Israeli attacks had "taken the situation back to zero” and that the Palestinian leadership could now ask for an emergency debate at the UN Security Council on “the escalation.”

Palestinian officials accused Israel of trying to sabotage the peace “roadmap.”

"This Israeli policy is destructive and fuels bloodshed,” Yasser Abed Rabbo said.

On Monday Abed Rabbo warned: "I think that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government plans to assassinate the roadmap and that some extremists in the United States administration are facilitating this mission for Israel.”

Israel says it is acting because the Palestinian Authority has failed to dismantle militant groups as mandated by the plan.

Rice Credits PNA

However US national security adviser Condoleezza Rice on Monday, contrary to Bush, urged Israel to fulfill its responsibilities stipulated in the “roadmap.”

"Israel has to fulfill its responsibilities to help that peaceful change take place,” she said.

Rice even credited Palestinian leaders for coming out against terrorism.

"A new Palestinian leadership is emerging ...that understands and says, in both Arabic and English, that terror is not a means to Palestinian statehood but rather the greatest obstacle to statehood,” she said.

The PNA earlier said it has “what is stronger than doubts” that Israeli government targets Palestinian moderation and the Palestinian government.

“We have (evidence) what is stronger than doubts that what the (Israeli) government of (Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon is doing is an attempt to target Palestinian moderation and the Palestinian government to prevent it from going ahead with what it started both on the international and the internal levels,” the PNA minister of information Nabil Amre said.

But despite the Israeli obstructive attempts the PNA “will go ahead with implementing our commitments and we know how to honor these commitments,” Amre stressed.


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