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April 30, 2003
Least 3 Die in Tel Aviv Suicide Blast
(AP) - A suicide bombing destroyed a restaurant near the U.S. Embassy early Wednesday, killing five people and wounding nearly three dozen, officials said. A guard apparently prevented the attacker from entered the building. "A suicide bomber blew himself up at Mike's Place restaurant on the seafront walkway," said Tel Aviv police commander Yossi Sedbon. "The attacker did not succeed in getting into the restaurant. Police and rescue services said at least 35 people were hurt and five were killed, including the bomber.
Mid-East 'Roadmap': What We KnowThe "roadmap" for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement has not been formally published, but its main outlines and much of its contents are known.
The US and UK have promised to pursue the plan energetically now that the war in Iraq is largely over.
The roadmap is intended to be a goal-driven, phase-by-phase route to ending the conflict within two years. It is also meant to have specific target dates, benchmarks and reciprocal confidence-building measures built in.
The plan was pieced together by diplomats from the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations, and was amended after consultations with Israelis and Palestinians.
In February, Israel announced that it had 100 changes it wanted made to the roadmap before it is published. According to recent reports, Israel has whittled its reservations down to 15 points.
Palestinians have insisted that the first step required of them - the end of attacks on Israelis - will be impossible with Israeli forces entrenched in most of the Palestinian territory.
[Quotes from the roadmap come from a draft document posted by the UK Foreign Office in the library of the British Parliament.]
Phase 1: End to violence
In the first phase of the roadmap, terrorism and violence are supposed to end, Palestinian life should be normalised, the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories improved, and Palestinian institutions rebuilt.
The onus is on the Palestinians to "immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence... such action should be accompanied by supportive measures undertaken by Israel".
Also in phase 1:
For its part, Israel is required to take "all necessary steps to help normalise Palestinian life... [and] withdraw from Palestinian areas occupied from 28 September 2000".
Israel is also required to freeze all settlement activity.
The Palestinian leadership is required to issue an "unequivocal statement reiterating Israel's right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to end armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere".
The Israeli leadership is required to issue an "unequivocal statement affirming its commitments to the two state vision of an independent, viable, sovereign Palestinian state living in peace and security alongside Israel".
Phase 2: Transition
The second phase of the roadmap aims to focus on creating an independent Palestinian state with "provisional borders and attributes of sovereignty".
This phase is intended to start after Palestinian elections and end with the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
The Quartet - the US, Russia, EU and UN - are expected to convene an international conference on Palestinian economic recovery.
Arab states are called on to restore pre-intifada links to Israel - trade offices, diplomatic delegations and the like.
International monitoring of the transition stage is called for.
Phase 3: Permanent status
agreement/end of conflict
The objectives of this phase are "consolidation of reform and stabilisation of Palestinian institutions, sustained, effective Palestinian security performance, and Israeli-Palestinian negotiations aimed at a permanent status agreement in 2005".
The Quartet is to convene a second international conference to endorse agreements reached by the Israelis and Palestinians on final borders, Jerusalem, refuges and settlements. The conference is then meant to support progress to a comprehensive Middle East agreement between Israel, Lebanon and Syria.
Israeli and Palestinian officials are expected to reach a final agreement on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions 242, 338, and 1397.
Agreements are intended to protect the "religious interests of Jews, Christians, and Muslims worldwide".
Arab states are called on to accept "full normal relations with Israel and security for all the states of the region in the context of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace".
The latter article is an outline of the three phase peace plan put forth by the U.S. and U.K. As I have stated, I believe Tony Blair will eventually be the signer of the treaty and will be responsible for protecting Israel and assuring that they have full normal relations in the world and especially with the Arab countries.
He will make the plan work, but it won't go into full scale until after he is elected Prime Minister of the E.U. That maybe sometime down the road.
Take a good look at the proposed peace plan and make some of your own analysis.
Another suicide bomber has struck in Israel, but it's been a long time since the last one, and I think we can attribute that to the fall of Iraq. I'm sure they're not the whole problem, but they've played a very significant part.Pastor Malone