Visiting US Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday noted that the Palestinians Arabs' ongoing use of terrorist violence against Israel's Jews is the primary roadblock to creating a Palestinian Arab state.
Speaking at a press conference following his meeting with US-backed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, Cheney singled out the incessant Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza, insisting that they are both killing and wounding innocent civilians, as well as the "legitimate hopes and aspirations of the Palestinian people [sic]."
Meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday, the American said it is clear that Syria and Iran are aiding Hamas and other Palestinian elements opposed to peace in torpedoing negotiations through violence. He sidestepped the fact that a majority of average Palestinians also support Hamas, as well as the use of terrorist violence against Israel.
Those uncomfortable realities notwithstanding, Mr. Cheney said that the Bush Administration remains dedicated to the birth of a Palestinian state by the end of the year.
Palestinian officials, meanwhile, expressed frustration over the fact that Cheney talked so much about ending Arab terrorism, but failed to commit to applying increased pressure on Israel to make concessions regardless of the unremitting violence.
Said one Palestinian official to The Jerusalem Post: "Today we got the impression that the Bush administration has no intention to put enough pressure on Israel."