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Thursday, 28 March, 2002, 00:36 GMT
Bush condemns 'callous' killing
Bush with security man
President Bush reacted angrily to the bombing
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By Paul Reynolds
BBC Washington correspondent
line

US President George W Bush has condemned the bomb attack in Netanya, and called on Yasser Arafat to do everything in his power to stop what he called "terrorist killing".

Secretary of State Colin Powell said that the US envoy, General Anthony Zinni would remain in the region ready for further talks.

Destruction at Park Hotel
Peace hopes were shattered with the hotel
The American fear is that the bombing will derail what is left of the Zinni mission and drive Israel towards a policy of reoccupying the Palestinian territories.

At the start of the day President Bush reported progress in the Zinni talks.

But within hours, there was a tone of desperation in the voices of the administration.

Condemnation

Mr Bush himself, saying that his heart broke for the innocent lives lost on a daily basis, called the bombing callous, cold-blooded killing which had to stop.

"I condemn it in the most strongest of terms. I call upon Mr Arafat and the Palestinian Authority to do everything in their power to stop the terrorist killing," he said.

Fears of war

Secretary of State Colin Powell was more specific.

Mr Arafat should broadcast to his people, he said, and tell them they were destroying their own vision for a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel.

The implication here was again ominous: this way lies war.

Washington's plans of recent days are in tatters and it is scrambling to put something back together.

General Antony Zinni
General Zinni is to stay in Israel
It had hoped to get Mr Arafat to Beirut to endorse the Saudi plan in person.

There are now serious doubts as to whether the current Israeli restraint will continue and if that proves so, then General Zinni's role will be over.

But he will stay where he is, prepared to engage with the parties though the tempo of talks might well slow down over the Passover period.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Orla Guerin
"Peace seems further away than ever"
Ambassador Ali Hamid, League of Arab States
"All the Arab states support the Saudi process"
Nabil Sha'ath, advisor to Yasser Arafat
"Had Mr Arafat been here, he would have pushed things further"
See also:

27 Mar 02 | Middle East
Deadly suicide blast at Israeli hotel
27 Mar 02 | Middle East
Clouds of dissent gather over Beirut
26 Mar 02 | Middle East
Two observers killed in West Bank
27 Mar 02 | Middle East
Mid-East 'needs peacekeeping force'
26 Mar 02 | Middle East
Bright Beirut offers template for peace
27 Feb 02 | Middle East
What is in the Saudi peace initiative?
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