February's Mecca Agreement between Fatah and Hamas under Saudi supervision breathed life into the dormant peace process when Hamas pledged to respect past agreements between the PLO and Israel and agreed to an implicit recognition of the Jewish state: the major bugaboo imposed by the Quartet [ U.S., Russia, EU, and U.N.] in exchange for cooperation with and funding of the Palestinian government.
While secretary of State Condolezza Rice failed at attempts to begin a dialogue of equals between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on February 19th, hope is on the horizon on this her fourth trip within four months to the Mid East.
"I think that it is extremely important that there be a political horizon for the Palestinian people, and I sincerely hope that in the future the parties themselves can talk about that political horizon among themselves." http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070325/wl_mideast_afp/mideastdiplomacyus_070325170304;_ylt=Asc7IL4z37DfEi7cgN9VpgeWwvIE
On March 24, 2007 David Welch, State Department assistant secretary for the Middle East "described the meetings among U.S. and Arab diplomats and security and intelligence officials as "lively" and productive, but that there are still different views about the government, for example how durable is it, what is the extent of the agreement on its founding principles and on how far the new government goes toward meeting international demands for recognition and aid…[and]the importance of Arab-Israeli reconciliation as an element in broadening peace, but also in helping to establish a track between Israelis and Palestinians."
Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdul-Ilah al-Khatib told reporters after his March 24th meeting with Rice that, "We have agreed on the necessity to open a political horizon, as well as the necessity to outline the issues of the final stance. It is not possible to have the blockade which Palestinian people are being subjected to go on."[IBID]
While Israel, the U.S. and the European Union all consider Hamas a terrorist group citing the deaths of 200 plus Israelis in homicide bombings, they are consistently mute on the "4,070 Palestinians killed since September 29, 2000, of which 869 were children." [ http://www.ifamericansknew.org/]
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