The US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is on her fourth visit to Israel this year to promote dialogue between Ariel Sharon’s government and the Palestinians.On her way there from Saudi Arabia she said that a Palestinian state would boost Israeli security. Speaking at an Israeli-United States Forum in Jerusalem, the Secretary of State called on the two sides to prove their willingness for peace. She said there was reason for hope. “Today we have hope for peace,” she said, “because the international community is united in its historic struggle against terrorism. People in the Middle East are also speaking more clearly against terrorism and they are rejecting the bankrupt belief that national struggles or religious teaching legitimises the killing of innocents.” That hope, though, is not being helped by faltering Palestinian-Israeli talks on opening the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border. The Israelis want TV surveillance in place, the Palestinians say the presence of European monitors should be enough to stop militants.
Rice in Israel to push for peace