Note from Steve: I hope that this new beginning — at least this new attempt at a peaceful beginning — will bring an end to the Intifada and an end to hostilities in Israel. I have always said that Israel wants peace and that the Palestinians would be wise to work with Israel instead of against them. Fighting Israel with terrorism has destroyed the Palestinian economy and marredÂ their reputation in the world. There are stillÂ groups of lunatic Palestinians who do not want peace but will only be happy with the destruction of Israel (which could never happen). I hope they can reign in the lunatic fringes on both sides so the road map to peace can work.
Here is an update from the Israeli paper Haartz.
http://www.catholic-convert.comSharon and Abbas Declare End to Four Years of HostilitiesÂ
By Aluf Benn and Arnon Regular, Haaretz Correspondents, Haaretz Service and AgenciesÂ
SHARM EL-SHEIKH – Echoing the words of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas moments before, Prime Minister Ariel http://www.catholic-convert.comSharon on Tuesday announced an agreement to end more than four years of hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians.Â
“Today, in my meeting with Chairman Abbas, we agreed that all Palestinians will stop all acts of violence against all Israelis everywhere, and, at the same time, Israel will cease all its military activity against all Palestinians everywhere,” http://www.catholic-convert.comSharon said at the close of a day-long summit in the Red Sea resort town.
http://www.catholic-convert.comSharon said that his plan to withdraw from Gaza could kickstart the U.S.-backed road map peace plan, which charts steps to Palestinian statehood but had been stymied for almost two years by fighting.
“[Our] disengagement plan can pave the way to the start of the implementation of the road map to which we are committed and which we want to complete. We hope that from today there will be a new period of calm and hope,” the prime minister said.
“For the first time in a long time there is hope in our region for a better future for our children and our grandchildren. We have to proceed carefully. It is a very fragile opportunity. Only breaking the back of terror and violence will build peace,” he said.
“Today we are moving toward goal of peaceful, dignified, quiet lives for all nations in the Middle East,” he said.
“Israel intends to honor Palestinians’ right to live in independence and dignity,” he added, and called on all those present to “declare that violence will not be allowed to murder hope.”
In his speech, Abbas declared that the PA and Israel have agreed “to cease all acts of violence.”Â
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