One wonders at first just who it is that is taking all this 'roadmap' stuff and Israeli opposition stuff so seriously. Sure enough, turns out to be non other than the nearly totally discredited 'Palestinian Authority' bunch playing things to their own corrupt and stupid tunes:
Israel Attempts to Foil Abu Mazen’s Efforts to Form Gov’t
Abed Rabbo: Israel Seeks Gov’t With Sole Authority on Peace Process
Palestine Media Center- (PMC)
The Palestine National Authority (PNA) accused Israel on Tuesday of trying to undermine Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas’ mission to form a new government, with the aim of foiling international efforts towards releasing and implementing the so-called “roadmap” to peace in the Middle East.
Also on Tuesday, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said, after a meeting with US President George W. Bush in Washington, that “there cannot be two parallel paths: the war against terrorism in the day and negotiations at night.”
“The end of terrorism constitutes the central question for a return to negotiations with the Palestinians,” he added.
Israel, which has suggested more than 100 changes to the “roadmap”, refused to pass judgment on Abbas until he had proven his mettle and taken drastic measures to end attacks in Israel in the first two months of his term.
If Abbas does not take “the right measures against terror when he comes to office in his first or second months, he won't be able to do it after it,” Shalom said after a meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Palestinian minister of culture and information Yasser Abed Rabbo described Shalom’s statements as “arrogant and provocative.”
“Israel is granting Palestinian PM-designate Abu Mazen a time limit of two months after forming his government to prove his ability to fight what he (Shalom) calls ‘terrorism,’” Abed Rabbo said.
“These statements are arrogant and provocative, and aim at obstructing ongoing efforts to form the (Palestinian) government and at ensuring that his (Abu Mazen’s) government is the sole authority on the peace process,” Abed Rabbo said in a press release Tuesday.
The PLO has been the sole authority to negotiate peace with Israel and has been the peace partner of the Jewish state, since the Declaration of Principles was signed in Washington in 1993.
Abed Rabbo added that this is a recurring Israeli political tactic “to foil international efforts to publish and implement the ‘roadmap’” and to make its realization an impossible task, like Israel did with the Mitchel Report and the Tenet Plan.
He called upon the so-called “Quartet” of international mediators for peace in the Middle East, including the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia, to announce the “roadmap” and to embark immediately on its implementation, according to a timetable and clear-cut mechanisms, which “are not subject to preconditions and the Israeli veto.”
The Israeli opposition leader, Amram Mitzna and Palestinian officials said Israel is effectively rejecting the “roadmap”; a three-stage plan to Palestinian statehood by 2005.
Shalom confirmed Tuesday that Israel would seek changes before accepting it.
Moreover, Shalom laid down a number of conditions for resuming talks with the Palestinians and said “the roadmap needs to be adapted.”
“We expect that after the roadmap is published the first things they (the Palestinians) must do is halt the terror and the incitement,” Shalom said.
If the conditions are met, Israel would be a “true partner, exploring all roads to peace.” He added.
However Mitzna, Israel’s Labor Party chairman, said he suspected the Israeli government was playing for time.
“This is a recipe to say ‘yes’ while in reality saying ‘no,’” Mitzna told Army Radio.
Meanwhile, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said Israel’s demands for changes amount to a rejection of the plan.
“We had hoped that Mr. Shalom would have announced Israel’s full commitment and acceptance of the roadmap. In reality he actually announced Israel's rejection,” Erekat said.
“The statement by Shalom in the White House is an Israeli rejection of the roadmap,” he said.
“Israel is working to thwart any efforts to try to bring the peace process back on track. Shalom is challenging the White House and creating the basis for a continuing rejection of the roadmap,” he said.
“Israel talks in English of peace but gives orders in Hebrew to attack,” he said.
Palestinian leaders met with US representatives Tuesday and were told by acting US consul Jeff Feldman that the United States would set up a “monitoring mechanism” to make sure the “roadmap” was implemented when the Palestinian government started functioning, said Nabil Shaath, Palestinian planning minister.
The United States also would push for a “roadmap” similar to a draft presented last year, with no last-minute changes, Shaath said.