Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged the United States to push Israel to finally take action to move forward on the path to peace. “We shouldn’t lose another seven years searching for solutions.” His statement came on the eve of the arrival of Secretary of State Condi Rice who is making still another attempt to resolve differences between the two groups. Rice is caught in a dilemma because the Israel government continues building housing on the West Bank despite promises to the contrary they would cease such construction. Rice insists Israel must cease the construction, but her words apparently have scant impact on the Olmert government.
The situation is undoubtedly complicated by the reality President Bush is no longer a force since he will be departing within a few months. Abbas may insist there is need for Israel action now, but reality is until the arrival of a new president on the scene there is no way to pressure Israel to carry out agreements of the road map to peace.