President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority rejected the latest Israel proposal on grounds it still maintains Israel control of the West Bank and prevents Arabs from having east Jerusalem as its capital. “The Palestinian side will only accept a Palestinian state with territorial continuity. with holy Jerusalem as its capital, without settlements, and on thee June 4, 1967 boundaries.” An essential aspect of the Israel proposal is that the Palestinian Authority should be in control of all areas including Gaza.
The United States has been urging a resolution of the Palestinian-Israel dispute for over two years with no apparent progress. Perhaps, President Bush and Secretary of State Rice might pose the question as to whether their presence as “mediators” is an effective strategy. It might be more appropriate if Turkey served in the role of mediator.