Rice: difficulties won’t get in the way


Condoleezza Rice said clashes between Israel
and the Palestinians should not obstruct peace negotiations.

“The best solution here is going to be when there is
a Palestinian state that can live side
by side in peace and freedom with Israel,” the U.S. secretary of state told
CNN on Thursday when she was asked about violence on Israel’s border with the
Gaza Strip. “It’s not something that can be set aside just because
circumstances are difficult in the Middle East. If
every time circumstances got difficult in the Middle East,
you’d set aside the course of trying to get to a two-state solution, you’d never
move forward.”

Rice’s tone underscores a recent shift to active engagement after
six years of Bush administration policy of stepping back from peace
negotiations until the parties are ready.

Rocket attacks on southern Israel have increased in recent weeks and Israel has launched incursions to stop the rocket fire. Rice
said she understands that “there’s going to be need for Israel to defend itself against those attacks.”

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