Bush arrives in Israel to push Mideast agenda

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President Bush arrived in Israel to attend Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations, and to make a new push for his peace process in the Middle East. Bush's visit comes at a time, in what The Asia Times reports as one "of renewed turmoil in the region which bodes ill for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations that have made little tangible progress." Hamas spokesman Fauzi Barhoum called Bush's visit unwelcome and accused him of supporting "Israeli commissioned crimes and terrorism against the Palestinians." And Haaretz Chief correspondent for US Affairs Shmuel Rosner in reference to Bush's visit stated that "earth-shaking changes do not take place within neat 4- or 8-year time spans, in accordance with the US political calendar.

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Story Transcript

VOICE OF ZAA NKWETA, PRESENTER: Amidst ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, President George Bush arrived in Tel-Aviv on Wednesday, to attend Israel’s 60th anniversary celebrations, and to make a new push for peace in the Middle East. The Asia Times reports that Bush’s visit comes at a time of renewed turmoil in the region, which bodes ill, for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations that have made little tangible progress. Bush was received by embattled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert; himself in the midst of a corruption scandal that observers say may end his term, and threaten the fragile peace process. Security remained tight during Bush’s visit. Israel imposed a three-day closure in the West Bank and Gaza, preventing Palestinians from entering the country. Hamas spokesman Fauzi Barhoum accused Bush of co-sponsoring the subjugation of the Palestinians.

FAUZI BARHOUM, HAMAS SPOKESMAN: We at Hamas and all the Palestinians do not welcome Bush’s visit to the area because all that time, the American administration gave full support to the Israeli commissioned crimes and terrorism against the Palestinians.

VOICE OF NKWETA: But as Shmuel Rosner chief US correspondent for Haaretz wrote in reference to the presidents aim to shape his legacy: earth-shaking changes do not take place within neat 4- or 8-year time spans, in accordance with the US political calendar.

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