Newsletter : 3fax0605.txt
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The full text of speeches by President Bush and the prime ministers of Israel and the Palestinian Authority may be found at the following Jewish World Review urls: President Bush's speech: http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0603/bush_pal_state.php3: Prime Minister Sharon's speech: http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0603/arik_pal_state.php3: Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas' speech:
Bush: Two States Must Share the Holy Land
By Paula Wolfson (VOA-Aqaba, Jordan) & Ha'aretz
Israel and the Palestinians have announced the first small steps in what could be a
long, difficult peace process. They stood side-by-side on the grounds of a palace
overlooking the Gulf of Aqaba. One by one, they pledged to work for peace.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas said it is time to bring all the suffering to
an end. He vowed the Palestinians would do their part. "The armed Intifada must end, and
we must use and resort to peaceful means in our quest to end the occupation and the
suffering of Palestinians and Israelis and to establish the Palestinian state."
Establishment of a Palestinian state living in peace with Israel is the goal of the
"road map," the new peace plan drafted by the United States, the European Union, Russia
and the United Nations. Both sides have endorsed the road map, though Israel has done so
with conditions attached.
At the Aqaba summit, Israeli Prime Minister Sharon offered a first tentative step on
the sensitive issue of settlements. He said he would dismantle Israeli outposts in the
West Bank and Gaza set up without government approval. "I want to reiterate that Israel is
a society governed by the rule of law. Thus, we will immediately, begin to remove
President Bush listened to the two prime ministers and said progress is being made.
"All here today now share a goal: the Holy Land must be shared between the state of
Palestine and the state of Israel, living in peace with each other and with every nation
in the Middle East."
He added that all sides have made important commitments, and the United States will do
all it can to help make the dream of peace a reality. He said he was ordering Secretary of
State Colin Powell and his national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice to make the peace
process a matter of the highest priority. "The journey we are taking is difficult. But
there is no other choice."
Powell has called on Israelis and Palestinians to act quickly on pledges made by their
prime ministers. Speaking to reporters at King Hussein International Airport, Powell said
U.S. officials have asked both sides to "start doing things right away."
In statements after Wednesday's talks, both prime ministers said they support two
states living side by side in peace and security. In his own statement, President Bush
said the sides had made "important progress," and that he expected each to keep their
At the conclusion of the 90-minute meeting, the three leaders, along with host King
Abdullah II of Jordan, strode
side-by-side to four identical podiums set up on the shores of the Red Sea.
During his speech, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas called for an end to the
"armed Intifada" - a reference to the use of weapons and explosives by Palestinian
militants - as well as for an end to attacks on Israelis "wherever they may be" - thus
foreswearing violence against settlers as well as residents of Israel proper.
"We will exert full efforts to ending the militarization of the Intifada [uprising].
The armed Intifada must end and we must resort to peaceful means to achieve our goals," he
said, adding that the Palestinians "do not ignore the suffering of the Jews throughout
history. It is time to bring this suffering to an end."
Speaking after Abbas, Sharon said his primary duty was to work for the security of
Israel. "As the prime minister of Israel, the land which is the cradle of the Jewish
people, my paramount responsibility is the security of the people of
Israel, and of the state of Israel. There can be no compromise with terror."
He added that there was now hope for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, stating
that it was not in Israel's interest to rule over the Palestinians. "It is in Israel's
interest not to govern the Palestinians, but for the Palestinians to govern themselves in
their own state. A democratic Palestinian state fully at peace with Israel will promote
the long-term security and well being of Israel as a Jewish state. There can be no peace,
however, without the abandonment and elimination of terrorism, violence and incitement.
"We can also reassure our Palestinian partners that we understand the importance of
territorial contiguity in the West Bank for a viable Palestinian state," Sharon said. In
an apparent reference to the acts of militants on both sides, the prime minister declared
that "We accept the principle that no unilateral actions by any parties can pre-judge the
outcome of our negotiations."
Bush, closing the round of declarations, then declared that he and America as a whole
were committed to Israel's security as a "vibrant Jewish state."
Hamas Rejects Call to End Armed Attacks on Israelis
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
The militant Islamic group Hamas said it would not lay down its arms despite an appeal
from Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. The organization was reacting to Abbas'
statement, at the Mideast summit in Aqaba, Jordan, calling for an end to armed attacks
against Israelis. And there also was strong opposition from Israelis to a promise by Prime
Minister Sharon to remove some Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Hamas said it would stand by the Palestinian people and by the gun. A spokesman for
Hamas, Abdel Aziz-Rantisi, said that the organization would never lay down its arms until
it liberates the whole of Palestine.
Rantisi's statement is in line with the charter of Hamas, which calls for the
destruction of Israel, in favor of a republic governed by Islamic law. But his remarks
were in sharp contrast to the conciliatory comments from Hamas before the summit in Aqaba,
Jordan between the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers and President Bush.
Hours before the meeting got under way, Hamas official Ismail Abu Shanab said his
organization was ready for a ceasefire if Israel agreed to withdraw its troops from
Palestinian self-rule areas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
For its part, Islamic Jihad, an organization with similar aims as Hamas, said it would
continue what it called its resistance as long as Israeli forces continue to occupy
Palestinian areas. Both Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, frequently carry out suicide
Abbas has appealed to the groups to stop such attacks in order to give a chance for
negotiations with Israel to succeed.
Meanwhile, Israeli opponents of the "road map to peace" plan in the Middle East were
scheduled to gather in Jerusalem for what they hope will be a massive demonstration.
Organized by the Yesha Council for Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the
rally is appealing to all Israelis to stop the government from removing some settlements
and permitting the establishment of a Palestinian state.
For years, Sharon has been a strong supporter of the settlers, but Shaul Goldstein, a
leader of Yesha Council, said of him Wednesday, "He lost his leadership. He's lost his
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