President Bush Announces International Conference on the Middle East

[White House] President Bush said Monday: "In Gaza, Hamas radicals betrayed the Palestinian people with a lawless and violent takeover. By its actions, Hamas has demonstrated beyond all doubt that it is [more] devoted to extremism and murder than to serving the Palestinian people. This is a moment of clarity for all Palestinians. And now comes a moment of choice. The alternatives before the Palestinian people are stark. There is the vision of Hamas, which the world saw in Gaza - with murderers in black masks, and summary executions, and men thrown to their death from rooftops. By following this path, the Palestinian people would guarantee chaos, and suffering, and the endless perpetuation of grievance. They would surrender their future to Hamas' foreign sponsors in Syria and Iran. And they would crush the possibility of any - of a Palestinian state." "Prime Minister Olmert must continue to release Palestinian tax revenues to the government of Prime Minister Fayyad. Prime Minister Olmert has also made clear that Israel's future lies in developing areas like the Negev and Galilee - not in continuing occupation of the West Bank....At the same time, Israelis should find other practical ways to reduce their footprint without reducing their security - so they can help President Abbas improve economic and humanitarian conditions." "I will call together an international meeting this fall of representatives from nations that support a two-state solution, reject violence, recognize Israel's right to exist, and commit to all previous agreements between the parties. The key participants in this meeting will be the Israelis, the Palestinians, and their neighbors in the region. Secretary Rice will chair the meeting."

2007-07-17 01:00:00

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