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Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Palestinians say is taking their land?
The cease-fire declaration coincided
with a visit to the region by
Condoleezza Rice, the White House's
national security adviser. Her main
purpose was to make clear to both
sides what the United States expects of
them, and to signal the U.S. determi-
nation to push the road map.
In her talks with Abbas in Ramallah,
Rice was firm on dismantling terrorist
groups: She used Abbas' own slogan —
"one authority, one command and one
armed force" — and echoed Secretary
of State Colin Powell and President
s Israel and the Palestinians
begin a long-awaited truce,
both sides are holding their
breath — and wondering
what the United States will do next to
advance the road map peace plan.
Indeed, the late June cease-fire by the
three main Palestinian terror groups,
declared as the intifada (uprising)
approached the 1,000-day mark,
underlined the vital importance of the
American role. Without
U.S. pressure on the
Palestinian Authority to
crack down on terror
groups, and on European
and Arab nations to cut off
their funding, the cease-fire
never would have been
achieved, Israeli analysts say.
More importantly, the
analysts agree that unless
Washington keeps up the
pressure on both Israel and
the Palestinians, the new
deal could quickly unravel.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud
Then, instead of moving
right, escorts U.S. National Security Adviser
ahead on the internationally
Rice prior to their talks in the
accepted peace plan toward
of Jericho on June 28.
a longer-term settlement,
the sides could find them-
selves locked in an even-
George W. Bush in insisting that the
worse cycle of violence.
United States would accept nothing
Much will depend on how the Bush
less than the disarming of the groups
administration handles a number of
and the collection of their weapons.
• Will the U.S. force Palestinian
Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud
Abbas to go beyond a cease-fire and
the rhetoric, the United States
dismantle terrorist groups like Hamas
reportedly is considering granting the
and Islamic Jihad, as he has agreed to
Palestinian Authority as much as $1
do under the road map?
billion, partly to help it disarm the
• Will it restrict Israel's freedom of
militants. Some of the funds would be
action if the Palestinians violate the
used to build a welfare system alterna-
tive to Hamas'. Through this money
• Will it pressure Israel to release
and other investment, the United
Palestinian terrorist prisoners as a
States hopes to dramatically improve
socio-economic conditions in the West
• Will it lean on Israel to dismantle
Bank and Gaza Strip, showing that
illegal settlement outposts and estab-
peace pays and encouraging further
steps in that direction.
• Will it insist that Israel stop build-
Much of the money would be held
ing a security fence it says is essential
pending convincing evidence
to keep terrorists from infiltrating
that the Palestinians really are decom-
from the West Bank, but which the