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9/2/03 - MEETING ROAD MAP COMMITMENTS - 2003-09-03

Terrorism in the Middle East must stop. There has to be an end to the violence and the deaths of innocent people. It has to be unconditional. President George W. Bush developed a road map. This plan has a vision of Israel and its Palestinian neighbor living side by side in peace. U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Reeker says, “It is essential that the Israelis and Palestinians rededicate themselves to those objectives”:

“The core of this issue is the need for the Palestinians to exert maximum effort to end terror and violence. It’s not about personalities. That’s not what’s important. It’s about performance and making good on the commitments that they have made.”

It is essential that the Palestinian security services take concrete steps to confront terrorist groups like Hamas that seek to undermine the pursuit of peace. The terrorists, says Mr. Reeker, “are against the aspirations of the Palestinian people”:

“Action has to be taken to pull out, root and branch, the capability of these terrorist organizations to disrupt the process, to perpetuate their criminal, murderous actions, which only causes suffering of innocents and derails the process and the hopes and aspirations of the Palestinian people. And so our views of Hamas, this terrorist group, are well known. And our view, again, is that terrorism and the violence has to stop now.”

The Palestinian Authority has committed to stopping the violence. To do that, Palestinian security must be improved. “And, says State Department spokesman Reeker, it “must be done as soon as possible”:

“We would strongly say that all Palestinian security services must be consolidated under the authority of Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.”

As President Bush put it, “Terrorists do not speak for the Palestinian people... And a Palestinian state will never be built on the foundation of violence.”