RealNews

Palestinians Assail Bush for Backing Israeli Plan

Palestinian officials on Wednesday denounced President Bush’s endorsement of an Israeli plan to keep several major settlements in the West Bank and deny Palestinian refugees the right to return to lands that are now part of Israel. They said the plan undermines prospects for negotiations and could spur an upsurge of violence by Palestinians who see no other alternative to resolving the conflict. The Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, and his top aides met in emergency session Wednesday afternoon and said in a statement that the endorsement would end “the chances of peace, security and stability in the area” and would unleash “the cycle of violence.” Ahmed Qureia, the Palestinian prime minister, said, “Bush is the first U.S. president to give legitimacy to Jewish settlements on Palestinian land.” Speaking to reporters at his home in the West Bank town of Abu Dis, he added, “We reject this, we will not accept it.” Full Story

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