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Hamas Declares All-Out War on Israel

Posted June. 13, 2003 21:54,   


The “Road Map to Peace” is undergoing a critical mass as a bloodshed attack-revenge cycle continues between Israel and Hamas, the biggest militant organization in Palestine. President George W. Bush believes Middle East diplomacy is an important test-bed and has decided to dispatch an arbitration mission to Jerusalem headed by the US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly.

During last Wednesday’s Israeli-Palestinian-U.S. summit which was held at Bush’s request, Israel and Palestine promised to follow the road map. However, violence erupted once again between Israel and Hamas, as Hamas attacked an Israeli bus on Wednesday and Israeli helicopters attacked Hamas leaders on Thursday. Another Palestinian militant group, also attacked Israeli troops and killed one Israeli soldier on the west side of the Jordan River.

In addition, the Hamas militant group ordered an all-out assault on Israel and urged foreigners to leave. War has hence been virtually declared.

“All the problems were caused by Hamas, They are the enemies to peace, in the president`s judgment,” White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Friday. President Bush had been saying that Israel and Palestine should both change their approach for the peace settlement until Thursday.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State John Wolf will leave for Jerusalem, probably Saturday as chief of the arbitration mission.

Secretary of State Colin Powell also plans to attend a 4 way-meeting to be held on June 22 in Amman, Jordan, with representatives of the United Nations, Incoluding Russia and the European Union. It shows that U.S. is doing its best to revive the road map. Secretary of State Powell called Egypt on Thursday and urged that the international community should work against extremist groups such as Hamas.

Meanwhile, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat sent a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and urged to help end violence in the Middle East immediately. Yasser Arafat has been excluded from various peace talks as Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas represents Palestine. Mr. Arafat however, is expected to take a greater role in the near future.

Neither Israel nor Palestine have been said to have nullified the road map as of yet. The road map suggest an alternative plan for coexistence, but Hamas aims for complete repulsion of Israelis and establishing a united Islamic country. Therefore, by which method, the Palestinian government, the U.S. and U.N will control Hamas will be a key to Middle East peace.

Ki-Tae Kwon kkt@donga.com