Archive for the ‘Palestinians’ Category

Bush: Cheney to press for Mideast peace

March 10, 2008
By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – President Bush, dispatching Vice President Dick Cheney to the Middle East, said the goal is to get Israelis and Palestinians to hold firm to the promises they’ve made toward peace.

Bush said Monday in the Oval Office that Cheney would “reassure people that the United States is committed to a vision of peace in the Middle East.”

As Cheney tries to help hold together fragile negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, Bush says he’s still optimistic that a peace deal can happen before he leaves office.

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As Israelis Pull Out of Gaza, Hamas Celebrates Its Rocketry

March 4, 2008

The New York Times
March 4, 2008

GAZA — As Israel withdrew its forces from the northern Gaza Strip on Monday after a two-day assault on Hamas militants, and as Palestinians emerged from their houses to inspect the damage, Hamas leaders seemed to be following the playbook of their Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, in its 2006 war with Israel.

Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas in Gaza, said that like Hezbollah, Hamas had “gone from the stone to the rocket.”

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Palestinians call drones a deadly weapon

March 4, 2008
By IBRAHIM BARZAK and ARON HELLER, Associated Press Writers

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Palestinians say they know when an Israeli drone is in the air: Cell phones stop working, TV reception falters and they can hear a distant buzzing. They also know what’s likely to come next — a devastating explosion on the ground.

Palestinians say Israel‘s pilotless planes have been a major weapon in its latest offensive in Gaza, which has killed nearly 120 people since last week.

“Our experience is that the drone missile is successful in hitting its targets, and it’s deadly,” said Dr. Mahmoud Assali, a Palestinian physician who works in the emergency room of a northern Gaza Strip hospital that has often treated Palestinian gunmen hit by Israeli drones.

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Bush in Saudi Arabia for talks

January 14, 2008
By ANNE GEARAN, AP Diplomatic Writer

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – President Bush, on his first visit to this oil-rich kingdom, delivered a major arms sale Monday to a key ally in a region where the U.S. casts neighboring Iran as a menace to stability.

Bush’s talks with Saudi King Abdullah, which began over dinner and were continuing with late-night meetings, also were expected to cover peace between Israelis and Palestinians….

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Iran Still A Threat

January 3, 2008

Munich – Iran is a danger not only to Israel “but to the rest of the world,” Israeli President Shimon Peres said in an interview Wednesday. Threats made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad needed to be taken seriously, Peres told the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
The world “cannot afford his madness,” he said.
Peres said Israel “had to take preventive measures against the threat posed by Iran,” but ruled out a military strike against Tehran “at present.” The current regime in Iran can be toppled by sanctions, he said, adding that, in the end, “Israel will survive Ahmadinejad.”
Iran, whose president has called into question Israel’s right to exist, is under pressure from the West to halt its controversial nuclear programme, which some fear is geared towards making a bomb. Referring to the Mideast peace process, Peres voiced scepticism about a peace deal being concluded between the Jewish state and the Palestinians by the end of 2008.
“We humans are not made for timeframes,” he said. The Israeli president called it a “tragedy” that the Palestinian territories were divided as a result of the seizure of power by the radical Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip.
“One of them wants to destroy us, the other (wants) a state at our side,” he said, ruling out a dialogue with Hamas. Peres dismissed the idea of a large-scale military operation to stop extremists firing missiles across the border at Israeli territory.
“We did not pull out of the Gaza Strip two years ago in order to go back now,” he said. Peres voiced the belief that the Palestinians themselves would topple Hamas. In the long-term, the movement would fail because it did not to offer the people a perspective for the future, he said.
The president also called on Saudi Arabia to play a more active role in the Mideast peace process. If Riyadh was seriously interested in peace in the Middle East, its representatives must also meet openly with those from Israel,” he said.

The White House expressed concern Wednesday over Iran's ...
The White House expressed concern Wednesday over Iran’s announcement that Russia would supply S-300 air missile defense systems, seen here in a 1996 file photo, to the Islamic republic. (AFP/EPA/File)

Rice: Mideast peace in jeopardy

October 24, 2007

By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday that a “two-state solution” in the Middle East was in jeopardy, and described a narrow window of opportunity to push Israel and the Palestinians toward peace.

In a House hearing interrupted by anti-war protesters, Rice said an upcoming peace conference in Annapolis, Md., is needed to give hope to moderate Palestinian forces. She blamed Iran for fanning flames in the region, including what she called “troubling” new support for Hamas militants.

“Our concern is growing that without a serious political prospect for the Palestinians that gives to moderate leaders a horizon that they can show to their people that indeed there is a two-state solution that is possible, we will lose the window for a two-state solution,” Rice told the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Rice’s testimony was punctuated by Iraq war protesters….Read the rest:

Obstacles stall Rice’s Mideast diplomacy

October 14, 2007

By Matthew Lee, Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice opened an intense round of Mideast shuttle diplomacy Sunday, struggling to bring Israelis and Palestinians close enough to make a planned U.S.-hosted peace conference worthwhile.

The two sides are at bitter odds over an outline of a peace agreement that would be presented at next month’s conference, and Rice sought to lower expectations her mission would finalize preparations for the gathering.

Underscoring her less-than-optimistic assessment, Israeli and Palestinians traded shots about the other’s commitment to peace ….

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Palestinians open to possible land swap

October 10, 2007

By KARIN LAUB, Associated Press Writer

ABU DIS, West Bank – The Palestinians are ready to yield parts of the West Bank to Israel if compensated with an equal amount of Israeli territory, the lead Palestinian negotiator told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday.

Ahmed Qureia, a former prime minister who has dealt with five Israeli prime ministers during 14 years of failed peacemaking, is trying again with No. 6, Ehud Olmert.

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