posted on Apr, 15 2004 @ 09:08 AM
As expected, the Palestinians are very dissappointed with U.S. President George Bush's decision to back Israel's Sharon plans for selective
withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Under the proposal, Israel would withdraw from all of the Gaza Strip and four small West Bank settlements, and impose
a boundary on the Palestinians, however Israel will keep six settlements. Palestinian leaders and Yasser Arafat are frantically seeking internation
support for their greivances. In related events 20 Palestinians were injured when an Israeli gunship fired a missile during a raid of a refugee camp.
Also the Islamic militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad denounced Bush's endorsement of Sharon's plan. Hamas called it "part of the American war
declared against Islam and ... in harmony with the American terrorism against our people in Iraq."
Palestinians Dismayed by Bush Endorsement of Israeli Plan for Territories
While voicing support for an independent Palestinian state, Bush also gave unprecedented U.S. backing for Israel to hold on to some settlements in the
West Bank. He also ruled out allowing Palestinian refugees to return to Israel after a Palestinian state is created.
Those concessions enraged the Palestinians, who want an independent state in all of the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, area Israel captured in
the 1967 Mideast war.
In his speech, Arafat said the Palestinians would never give up their "right of return" to lost properties in what is now Israel. Hundreds of
thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced out of their homes during the 1948 Mideast War.
Arafat did not mention Sharon or Bush by name, but criticized "the extremist Israeli rulers and those who support them."
The Palestinian leaders appealed to the international community to support a negotiated solution based on the 1967 borders and the road map.
In Brussels, the European Union, one of the sponsors of the road map, said its leaders "would not recognize any change to the pre-1967" borders
unless it was part of a negotiated solution.
Related ATS Articles and Threads:
Bush Sells Out The Palestinians.
[Edited on 4-15-2004 by worldwatcher]