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Middle East Peace


Palestinian gunmen fired on an Israeli military post near the West Bank city of Hebron. Two border policemen were wounded. A suicide bombing earlier this month outside a Tel Aviv nightclub killed four Israelis and injured dozens more. The attacks are intended to undermine a ceasefire agreed to by Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.

"Ending violence. . . .is first and foremost a Palestinian interest," says Mr. Abbas. He says the Palestinians "cannot build the foundations of a state without the rule of law and order." President George W. Bush says that President Abbas' assessment "is correct":

"The United States will help the Palestinian Authority build the security services that current peace and future statehood require: security forces which are effective, responsive to civilian control, and dedicated to fighting terror and upholding the rule of law."

To achieve the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace, "Palestinian leaders must fight corruption, encourage free enterprise, rest true authority with the people, and actively confront terrorist groups," says Mr. Bush. And "Arab states must end incitement in their own media, cut off public and private funding for terrorism, stop their support for extremist education, and establish normal relations with Israel." Israel, Mr. Bush says, must do its part as well:

"Israel must freeze settlement activity, help the Palestinians build a thriving economy, and ensure that a new Palestinian state is truly viable, with contiguous territory on the West Bank."

"There is only one outcome that will end the tyranny, danger, violence and hopelessness, and meet the aspirations of all people in the region," says Mr. Bush: "two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government.

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