Israel-Palestinians Clash Over West Bank Settlements

President Bush has boasted for years of his determation to bring about an Israel-Palestinian peace that will bring tog ether the two groups. It is now in the twilight of the Bush adminisration and anger and conflcit between the two bodies has reached new levels of intensity. Israel has suspended payment of the monthly $75 milliion tax collection that is due the Palestinian Authority. The Israel government is furious at the Palestinian Authority for urging the European Union to takea action against Israel for the breaking of agreements on housing constrction on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told the EU that Israel refuses to halt housing construction and in so doing makes impossible any two-state solution in the region.

The Israel government charges Sayyad is trying “to undermine” its relations with the European Union while Fayyad clams Israel has “flouted its international obligations.” The disgust and anger of President Abbas at continued housing is reflected by his reaching out to Hamas for a new national dialogue to bring togethe the two groups.

The Israel government continues its divisive actions in nonstp housing construction on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem which make impossible any future peace with Palestinians. It is no longer an issue of building for “security reasons” but one in which Israel refuses to make genuine efforts for peace. Is this the Bush legacy in the Middle East–refusing to adhere to international responsibilities?