In wake of the terrorist attacks on the United States, President Bush is encouraging all parties to do everything possible to move forward with the peace process in the Middle East. Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, reaffirmed his efforts in honoring a cease-fire. He has ordered security commanders and officers to not fire on Israeli targets. This order even applied to self-defense. They were ordered to hold fire even when under attack from Israeli forces. Arafat and the Palestinian Authority are also ready to join an international coalition against terrorism and has said, let us sit down, and negotiate peace, let us improve the lives of Israelis and Palestinians and move towards a just and lasting peace and cooperation.
Shortly after Arafat announced his determination to a cease-fire, the Israeli Defense Ministry also confirmed a halt of all operations against Palestine. Shimon Peres, Israeli Foreign Minister said there would be a meeting between the two sides within a few days if the truces held. Arafat and Peres were scheduled to meet Sunday, but Prime Minister Arial Sharon canceled that meeting. He said that a meeting could not go on unless there was a 48-hour period with no terror attacks.
Many think that this is a significant development in the fight for peace between Israel and Palestine. Although, a Palestinian negotiator commented that this might be a significant development but we must realize that the trust level between the two are below zero. Reflection: I must agree with CNN s Mike Hanna. He said the cease-fire announcements were very powerful and an indication that U.
S. pressure in the aftermath of the hijack attacks on New York and Washington was bearing fruit on the ground. This is very true because almost every country in world is taking a different look at violence around the world in reflection of the attacks on the United States. However, we mus be close to realize that this situation is fragile and we must not take it lightly. In light of this intensive development the United States must be supportive of the latest development and send an ambassador to the meeting between Arafat and Peres, should one take place.