Palestinians behave badly at the thought of peace

Times:

President Bush’s hopes for Middle East peace were given a sobering reality check yesterday, with violent protests in the West Bank and Gaza and apparently intractable opposition from hardliners against his efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian talks.

As Mr Bush held White House meetings with Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, 24 hours after they agreed to start immediate peace talks, opposition politicians in Israel were already plotting Mr Olmert’s downfall and Islamic militants in Gaza fired rockets into Israel.

In Jerusalem opposition politicians claimed that Mr Olmert was so politically weakened at home that he would be forced from office next year, destroying any chance he has of delivering a peace settlement by the end of 2008, the stated goal of the parties at Tuesday’s Annapolis conference.

An official for Hamas, the militant Islamic faction that wrested control of the Gaza Strip from Mr Abbas in June, vowed to continue fighting Israel. Israeli missiles struck a Hamas security post in southern Gaza, killing two Hamas naval police officers, the group said. Hamas was not invited to Annapolis.

Clashes broke out in the West Bank city of Hebron between Mr Abbas’s security forces and protesters at the funeral of a man killed in an Islamist antiAnnapolis rally on Tuesday. At least 29 people were wounded.

...

Since those throwing tantrums have no clue as to what the final terms of an agreement will be, you have to conclude that the prospects of the agreement itself has set them off. I continue to believe that way too much time and effort is spent on trying to placate some very emotionally immature people.

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