Palestinian Pime Minister Salaam Fayad expressed his pessimism concerning the possibility of achieving a peaceful resolution of the conflict with Israel any time in 2008. He blamed failure on the part of Israel to dismantle illegal West Bank settlements and the continuing Israeli military activities on the West Bank as undermining factors which impair movement towards peace. Fayad argues the continued presence of Israel soldiers on the West Bank makes it clear that Palestinian forces are not in charge. Israel Foreign Minister, Tzip Livni, insists the IDF has to deal with terrorist forces and until that is accomplished, they simply can not allow the creation of a Palestinian Authority.
Yesterday, another 22 Kassam rockets hit the Negev area. Israel and the Palestinian Authority continue dancing around the topic of where does Hamas fit into the peace equation. It is this failure which is fundamental to the eventual resolution of issues that damage movement towards peace. At some point, Hamas must become a player in the peace process.