We discussed the roadmap with Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and former Labour party prime ministerial contender Amram Mitzna.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell came away from his meetings with the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers on Friday with little progress on the peace "roadmap".
More than 60 people have been killed in violence between the two sides since the plan was launched earlier this month.
Late on Saturday, Israeli forces killed what they believed to be the Hamas planner of many attacks on their people.
It brought condemnation from the Palestinian leadership, which is trying to persuade the militant group to announce a ceasefire.
Can the roadmap for peace bring stability to the region? How will recent developments affect the peace process?
Thank you for your e-mails. This debate is now closed. The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:
There was never any need for a new roadmap because the original UN roadmap was adequate. The question has forever been one of enforcing international law in a disciplined manner, giving it bite, so that we can all confidently have recourse to it.
The fact of the matter is that this battle has been going on forever; I don't believe there is any real solution other than to separate the Palestinians from the Israelis. It's the only viable solution to prevent this from happening every day.
The fact of the matter is that the United States pursues only one goal by bringing forward this 'roadmap': the security of Israel. The reference to withdrawing of Israeli settlements is merely a currency of exchange so that the Palestinians are encouraged to 'do their part'. The first step for any true roadmap to work is to take the US out of the equation.
The first step for any true roadmap to work is to take the US out of the equation
The US and Israel should be helping the Palestinian Authority train a new police force capable of neutralising Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Israel should continue to empty out its settlements in the West Bank and hand those over to all the displaced Palestinians in the refugee camps. An idealist and probably naive suggestion, but something needs to be done to break the cycle of violence.
Miguel, San Diego/Tijuana
The road map will not work while Sharon is prime minister of Israel and continues to support the settlements.
Eleanor McFarlane, Vancouver, BC, Canada
One of the arguments advanced in recent years by Israel and its supporters is that there is no moral equivalence between suicide killings of Israelis by Palestinian groups such as Hamas and those sanctioned by the Israeli state. When the government of Israel deliberately assassinates Palestinians or even when it deliberately demolishes houses, grabs land and water, and bulldozes olive trees, there is no moral difference.
Daniel Michaels III, Singapore
It's about time Israel took a proactive stance against these terrorists. Hamas and its brethren are not helping Palestine, they are merely fuelling the fires. They do not want peace and do not have the interests of their people at heart, no matter what they say. Israel is not going away and it is time they realise that.
Hamas and its brethren are not helping Palestine, they are merely fuelling the fires
Steve, Charlotte, NC, USA
Steve, Charlotte, NC, USA
Hamas is part of the equation; it is wishful thinking to want to sideline them. For a million Palestinians, Hamas means hospitals, clinics, food, education; things that the Palestinian authority woefully fails to provide. Easy to demonise them, the difficult but preferable thing is to listen to them and bring them into the process.
Lawrence Anderson Burley, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The roadmap will not survive the violence. Sharon does not want the roadmap to succeed. More Palestinians than Israelis have been killed, but the focus seems to be on the Israelis. The occupation of Palestinian territory is the main reason for this violence.
The occupation of Palestinian territory is the main reason for this violence
Debrah, Florida, USA
I don't think that any of the writers in this "have your say" have actually red the "road map to peace" written by the Americans and the Israelis. No Palestinian in his right mind would accept the roadmap.
The roadmap tells Abu Mazen to crack down on terrorists. When will he arrest even one?
Rachel Sh'lomo, Tel Aviv, Israel
The roadmap will not bring peace as long as Israel clings to the occupied territories and the Palestinian extremists remain bent on reclaiming a Palestine that includes present day Israel. Mr. Mazen does not have the means to rein in the extremists, thanks largely to the destruction by Israel of the Palestinian police force. I also do not believe that Mr. Sharon wants a peaceful solution to the problem. He will keep inciting the Palestinian extremists to get an excuse to annex all of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Nyakairu, Ann Arbor, USA
This plan can't succeed as long as both sides are led by extremists. Sharon is largely responsible for the use of inappropriate force in civilian neighbourhoods. Abu Mazen may not be an extremist, but he is content to allow Hamas extremists to dictate the Palestinian position. He has effectively put Hamas in charge of peace negotiations. The best chance for peace passed years ago when the Palestinians refused to negotiate after Israel offered them a land deal that was generous compared to what they will eventually receive.
The roadmap speaks of a settlement freeze but we see no evidence of this whatsoever from Israel. These settlements are cities with developed infrastructures and expanding populations and ongoing confiscation of Palestinian land. Israel will never abandon them. Israel talks one line to the Americans but acts in contradiction to its verbal commitments.
Yaakov Sullivan, Brooklyn, NY, USA
What most fail to understand about the Arab-Israeli conflict is that most Israeli Jews are refugees or descendants from Arab countries (not Europeans). They were oppressed for over a millennium and will not be subjugated again. The roadmap is just the Europeans' and Americans' way of offering Israel as the sacrificial lamb to appease the Arabs.
The roadmap is just the Europeans' and Americans' way
I don't see what makes that roadmap so special; I can easily produce ten roadmaps with a happy end where everybody loves everybody. The problem is that both parties prefer the current situation above a kind of peaceful coexistence.
I think it has a lot to do with the personality of the protagonists. Bush, Sharon and Arafat: An explosive trio
I am sorry to say it, but there seems to be little hope for peace. First of all, the radical terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, while only being a very small group of Palestinians, will ruin the peace. Secondly, outside mediators, except perhaps the UN, are biased. The US is seen as an Israeli ally throughout the Middle East. On the other side, Arab leaders would not welcome a democratic Palestine when their own people suffer under their totalitarian governments. Finally, the debate over Jerusalem will never end. Israel and the Palestinians will never stop fighting over it.
Tim, Bethesda, MD, USA
The road map cannot survive if the Palestinians have to make all the concessions. Powell keeps calling on the Palestinians and not the Israelis to stop the violence, even though it is the Israelis who are the occupiers of Palestinian land. You cannot have a roadmap to peace if it continues to be as one-sided and two faced as previous policies have been. Israel must abandon its settlements and conform to the U.N. mandates and resolutions that were put to them years ago.
You cannot have a roadmap to peace if it continues to be one-sided
Colorado Springs U.S
Colorado Springs, US
Despite the best efforts of all sides involved in trying to restore peace in the Middle East, the roadmap is destined for failure because militant Islamic groups like Hamas have no interest in seeing peace and stability restored to the region. No matter how much progress is made along the path of peace, Hamas will continue to target Israel and the Israeli Government will, quite rightly, continue to respond in kind. The situation is a hopeless state of deadlock between these two sides.
The real trouble with any negotiations is that while Israel is a coherent political entity with transparency, legitimacy, a chain of command and discipline among its armed forces, the Palestinian Authority is but one group among many. As such it lacks the ability to impose a ceasefire on its own people. For the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to mean anything, Hamas and other such organisations must be destroyed, dissolved, or integrated into the Palestinian Authority's chain of command. Only then will Israel be in a position to make concessions.
For the negotiations to mean anything, Hamas must be destroyed, dissolved, or integrated
Marc Gurstein, Canada
The best thing that can happen is for Israel to retreat from any illegally-occupied Palestinian land as soon as possible, and to give Palestinians the full right to control their own land. Then, if the terrorists (Palestinian or Israeli) continue with their killings, the world can crack down on them.
Chris, Costa Rica
The only chance for peace is for a majority of Palestinians to accept Israel's right to exist. Until this happens there can be no peace, which the great majority of Israelis so desperately want.
Mike Sherman, Bryan, TX, USA
The roadmap will succeed only if the US and Israel made fundamental changes. A peace broker, who has been historically biased against the suffering of the Palestinian people, cannot be considered a genuine peace broker. The second major shift that needs to occur is within Israel.
Vinny Verghese, Edmonton, Canada
The only way we can see peace here is for both sides to negotiate in good faith. Next, Hamas has to be eliminated The continued suicide attacks and extreme reactions to any sensible discussion means it's not interested in peace. Israel has to withdraw from all of the illegal settlements and stop all military activity once Hamas is eliminated, and it should also uphold the rule of law and peoples' rights, coupled with a sensible approach to Jerusalem. But can Hamas be eliminated? The answer is no, therefore there is no chance of peace which means the continuation of the stupid senseless killing of innocent people by both sides.
Can Hamas be eliminated?
David Hewitt, Grezieu, France
David Hewitt, Grezieu, France
Any agreement between a democratic state and a terror group cannot last, and it does not matter whether you call it a peace agreement or any other name. Just imagine Collin Powell trying to reach an agreement between the US and Osama Bin Laden.
Dan, Jerusalem, Israel
The roadmap can never survive unless the terrorist elements are neutralised and brought to the negotiating table. The peace process has to be vigorously reactivated in order to instil confidence, both among the Palestinians as well as the Israelis. Both Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon have to work towards controlling their people effectively so that the violence and retaliatory attacks are stopped immediately and completely. Such confidence building measures are a prerequisite to facilitate the political process.
Confidence building measures are a prerequisite to facilitate the political process
Mahesh Chandra Somani,
Mahesh Chandra Somani,
Both parts must talk, but first of all, the Israelis are to give back to the Palestinians the occupied territories and stop establishing new colonies.
Marc Alba, Barcelona, Catalonia
The roadmap will only survive the violence when all innocent civilian lives, both Palestinian and Israeli, one for one are considered equal. This places the burden on all humanity to stop this evil violence on both sides.
Dale Dhillon, Boca Raton, USA
The terrorists must be eliminated because they believe that Israel must be destroyed. Only those who accept two states as a solution can make this process work. Fortunately the Palestinian government under Abu Mazen has jointed us and Israel in agreeing a two state solution.
Only those who accept two states as a solution can make this process work
The roadmap can survive if we have the will to keep the pressure on the Israelis.
Well, it's a little difficult to make peace with bullets flying around. Let's work on a proper ceasefire first.
Christopher, American in Kielce, Poland
So long as the world demands "confidence building measures" from Israel which build Hamas' confidence that terrorism is rewarded, there will be no peace.
Sacramento, California USA
Any "peace plan" that aims ultimately to completely disempower the Palestinians while strengthening Israel through "security" and ignoring the raw issues like borders, Jerusalem, refugees, water control, etc, will fail - and rightly so.
No, unless some brave and larger than life men can be found, like Anwar el Sadat and King Hussein. The ones in power now are all narrow-minded.
Wiebe Goossen, Deventer, Netherlands
There will be peace in the Middle East when the Arabs take to heart Lincoln's words; "The best way to destroy your enemy is to make him your friend."
Ivan M. Tomanbeg, USA
Peace is something that can be attained by the self-realisation of both the conflicting parties. Too much interference from third party just repairs the scratches but will not really make the scratches completely maintained. Process is more important than products.
Tirtha Rasaili, Kathmandu, Nepal
I think sidelining the so-called terrorists in any peace talks would be a waste of time and effort. Peace can only be achieved if all the players including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and the rest are part of the negotiations.
Peace can only be achieved if all the players including Hamas, Islamic Jihad etc are part of the negotiations
Musa Konneh, USA
I am very pessimistic. Today a man was publicly beheaded in Saudi Arabia.
With this kind of officially condoned inhumanity what good, tolerance and reconciliation can be expected in the Middle East for anything?
Ahmed Ibn-Sultan, Jedda, Saudia Arabia
Nothing happens until both sides will accept a simple solution: "Two states for two people", instead of current: "One state for one people".
Ilya Girin, Poughkeepsie, USA
The roadmap is the greatest opportunity in the history of this conflict to finally resolve it. In order for this to happen the demonic terrorist groups must be eliminated. When they are eliminated, then and only then, will peace be realised. These groups only represent hostility and torment for the people they supposedly represent.
Brad, Chicago, USA
As long as MIGHT IS RIGHT, Middle East violence will persist. The mediator (US) at the moment is not just. US is strongly tilted towards Israel and Israel is strong enough to continue its atrocities and hegemony. As long as US alone is acting as a mediator, Israel is strong enough and Sharon is a "man of peace" then the saying might is right will prevail. No need for a new show (roadmap) US!
Pakistani living in Canada
We need the UN to mediate the talks, not the US. The US is biased towards Israel.
JC, Manila, Philippines
The roadmap has to survive for the sake of the majority. There is a fanatical aspect on both sides of the conflict; Israelis who refuse to acknowledge the Palestinian right to the West Bank, and Palestinians who refuse to acknowledge Israel's existence. But there is also a majority, in many cases silent, who are willing to compromise to put an end to decades of suffering. By abandoning the road map we would be abandoning the majority.
By abandoning the roadmap we would be abandoning the majority
The terrible catch 22 situation in the Middle East is perpetrated by an eye for an eye attitude by both sides. No one side can claim to be right, no one side can claim to be without fault. The solution lies in forgiveness and a true determination to have peace. It will require one side to transcend retaliation.
Karen, Clifton, VA, USA
Where are the monitors? In every conflict there are at least some neutral people to judge the situation but not in Palestine. The US supports the Israeli occupation and their goals. Who controls whom?
The US supports the Israeli occupation
Fahd Rizk, Los Angeles, USA
Fahd Rizk, Los Angeles, USA
It's about time that Arab countries like Egypt work to stop the wanton murder of civilians. There is hope now, as world opinion clarifies and solidifies.
As long as peace appears to be close, there will be another incitement: a visit the mosque accompanied with a thousand police officers, or a rocket aimed another popular political leader. Israel wants to keep the violence going. They will lose the settlements and the water if there is peace. Hamas is blinded by revenge and desperation and walks right into the trap.
James Scobbie, Stirling
I think "snakes and ladders" is a better term than "roadmap". After one shake of the dice (the Aqaba summit) they move quickly up a "ladder". One more shake later (suicide bombers) and it's a long slippery slide down a "snake".
Les Grantham, Sydney, Australia
Historical territorial rights? Mother Earth belongs to nobody in particular. The only solution is a fair deal to the peoples actually living there at this moment. But the extremist factions on both sides will lose their power if the present horrifying status quo is changed. So they will do whatever they can to sabotage the roadmap in a covert way, and blame the other side for failure).
Mother Earth belongs to nobody in particular
Liang, The Hague, NL
If Arab governments care about the Palestinians they should give Abu Mazen a chance.
There will be no peace until, first, the Israeli Government and most of the Israeli public agree that all Jewish settlements on land taken since 1967 must be removed and, second, the Palestinian Authority and most of the Palestinian public accepts that there can be no "right of return" for refugees to land Israel has occupied since 1948.
I think the US should change the timetable dramatically. I think we should promise Palestine statehood in six months and start funnelling money into Palestine immediately. I also think we should whisper into Sharon's ear that if they do anything to impede the process we will take away the aid we supply them.
Mr Sandy Clark,
San Francisco, USA
I do not think there can be a peace unless there is one Palestinian "voice". The Israelis speak to the PLO but there are several militias that have different political objectives and agendas that are not parallel to the what the PLO leadership is doing. When Palestine has one strong governing voice, then peace will be possible.
When Palestine has one strong governing voice, then peace will be possible
Madeleine Dunn, USA
Both sides act like squabbling teenagers. Why not "cut their allowances" by cutting some of their funding, so they can't buy weapons to keep up the cycle of violence? I know it sounds simplistic, but money talks.
The killing of civilians by both sides, while regrettable and currently dominating the news media reports, is almost irrelevant to the fundamental core problem. The restoration of Palestinian land to the Palestinians remains the aim, and achieving this is the only way to remove the root cause of the killings.
Roger Wensley, Canada
This roadmap contains the seeds of failure:
Branding groups like Hamas as terrorists and working to eliminate them is counterproductive
1) The final outcome is not defined. The only way peace can move forward is with a clear declaration that Israel will withdraw to the pre-1967 borders, dismantle the settlements, and negotiate over the right of return
2) Branding groups like Hamas as terrorists and working to eliminate them is counterproductive. The Palestinians and others around the world see the double standard in looking the other way as Israel wages a terror campaign. The harder Israel strikes, the more popular Hamas becomes.
Raif Hijab, USA
The conflict is driven by the Palestinians unwillingness to accept that Jews had and have a history in Israel. The Arab strategy is to try to tire and scare Israeli's into capitulating and giving up on their roots and history. This will never happen and the sooner they realize this and the enlightened world takes them to task for perusing this strategy, the better for all, including the Palestinians. There is a need to improve the humanitarian situation on the ground, but no matter how much you improve this, without the fundamental change in attitude of Palestinians towards Jews and more importantly, Jews in Jerusalem, there will never be peace. It's in the hands of the Palestinians. Judaism cannot give up on its roots which is what the Palestinians and Muslim world are hoping it will do. The roadmap, because of the fact that it still leaves the biggest issues for last, will ensure that violence is maintained as a tool by the Palestinians.
G. Gross, Israel
It is a good idea to let the EU take the lead in the Middle East Peace process. The US are good in fighting wars but not in bringing peace, as we learn from Afghanistan and Iraq. And the US is not independent.
If Israeli and Palestinian these two brothers hug each other and stop killing each other it will be the great loss for US because then they can't control the Middle East oil. Logically as long as the US deals with the issue it's quite impossible to bring any good result for Israel and Palestine. The Road Map has nothing but to show the world people.
As long as the US deals with the issue it's quite impossible to bring any good result for Israel and Palestine
Abdur Rahman Bikrom, Bangladesh
Abdur Rahman Bikrom, Bangladesh
It is alright to say the US should stay out of this process, but how could it possibly do so? If the US would really stay out of this process, the immediate consequence would of course be that the state of Israel would immediately collapse, as it survives largely on US funding. Another country that would follow suit would be Egypt, as since Saddat's accords they too receive substantial aid. So, withdrawal would lead to instant economic collapse of the region, and after a civil war probably give birth to a number of impoverished fundamentalist states
Sam Seyffert, Portugal
The roadmap seems to tilt towards Israeli interests, since they had around 42 amendments already, so it's very doubtful to be passed. The only way to attain the peace is to send a multi national peace keeping force and if the Israelis reject this option, then UN should do it anyway.
I think if the US stays out of this process it will have a better chance. How can people respect and give credence to an arbiter who has waged a military action on one hand, and is holding out an olive branch in the other? It is simply not common sense. It cannot work with a do as I say, not as I do influence in place.
What is so special about this roadmap? Just because it is proposed and supported by US, it must be special and accepted as it is? What happened to the Saudi proposal which was offered about six months ago or so? What was wrong with that? Truly, an international team consisted of Israel, Palestinians, EU, US and Arab League must be formed to bring the peace there. Just the US as the only mediator is not going to be accepted. Abdulhuq Ingar, Toronto, Canada
What is so special about this roadmap?
Abdulhuq Ingar, Toronto, Canada
For peace to exist the clerics must make it clear to their congregations that the way to paradise is not through the use of a bomb taped to their bodies but through a long and peaceful life. The "normal people" of this area want peace. As a traveller I have been through these areas and it distresses me to see areas in which I have spent many happy days destroyed by fringe parties and "lunatics".
As long as the "eye for an eye" principle is embedded in the brains of the Israelis and the Palestinians, there is no hope.
Moncho, Puerto Rico
To Moncho, from Puerto Rico: This is not an "eye for an eye" issue. Israel has agreed to put down its guns, but not so Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Tanzeem and other groups. The Palestinian Authority under Abu Mazen is still refusing to take action against these organisations.
Michael, Israel - if Israel has agreed to put down its guns then what were these rockets being fired at Hamas earlier this week? Seems like they've broken the agreement...
The only chance for the roadmap to work is to send in a UN peacekeeping force. Why can we send peacekeeping forces anywhere in the world except Israel and Palestine?
I'm afraid peace will not be achieved until a more powerful third party imposes it upon them. It seems to me that every possible compromise requires sacrifices that are too great for one side or the other to accept. A negotiated settlement between the two parties is therefore impossible, and outside intervention is the only way to avoid an escalation toward genocide.
Every possible compromise requires sacrifices that are too great
I strongly believe peace is in Israel's hands. Whenever Abbas tries to deal with Hamas, Israel makes it harder by attacking key Hamas leaders. Israel was reluctant to accept the peace process and I think they want to wiggle their way out of this. Israel's expansionist policies must end and Israelis need to acknowledge the extremists amongst themselves before there is real peace.
Soreah Sans, NYC, USA
There cannot be peace without law and order on the Palestinian side. As long as any Palestinian organisation can kill Israelis at will, the promises for peace mean nothing. The Palestinians must have a central body that is willing to force law on their people first.
The roadmap will not work unless the Palestinian suicide bombers and terrorists stop killing Israelis and the Israelis stop the occupation of Palestinian territory.
A roadmap to peace based on a two states solution is not going to work. There must be a single democratic state which gives people of different religions and races equal rights. Only then will the area see real peace.
There must be a single democratic state
As long as Palestinian terrorist groups which refuse to recognise
Israel's right to exist are allowed to operate in Palestine, no Palestinian state will ever exist.
The roadmap to peace cannot survive in the wake of recent reciprocal violence between the Israeli radicals and Palestinian extremists. It is time for the moderates and peaceniks from both sides to work out a reasonable and just solution. It is important that the US be more impartial.
It is time for the moderates and peaceniks from both sides to work out a reasonable and just solution
Saqib Saleem, AMU, Aligarh, India
Saqib Saleem, AMU, Aligarh, India
To make peace, two willing sides are needed. So far, only Israel has shown this willingness and ability. The Arabs have always allowed the extremists on their side to derail any process, regardless of the name or content.
Hassan, Amman, Jordan
There is an elected Palestinian prime minister who is committed to peace. There is an Israeli prime minister who is committed to peace. Now, any party that opposes this commitment also opposes the peace initiative. Nobody will ever accept Hamas's ideology of wiping out Israel. Hamas must be dismantled, as it is a highly dangerous terrorist group.
Hamas must be dismantled, as it is a highly dangerous terrorist group
President Bush did not condemn the missile attack on innocent Palestinians. No, the roadmap was a failure before it was thought up.
Jen Bishop, UK
As long as the world continues with seeing a moral equivalence between Israel trying to kill a terrorist leader who states clearly that his intention is to destroy all of Israel, and a suicide bomber killing a busload of innocent civilians, there is no chance of an end to the violence. The BBC is pretty much the worst offender in this.
Jonathan Beller, UK
To Jonathan: It is important to understand that both sides are responsible because both have used violence as a way of achieving their objectives. I don't think that the BBC has been biased; I just think that some people cannot bear to hear opinions that differ from theirs.
Stephen Thompson, England, UK
To those calling for an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders: first of all bear in mind that the Arab nations attacked Israel before it took Jordanian and Egyptian land in that war. Also, Barak offered to give back these territories to the Palestinians only 3 years ago, and his offer was totally rejected. Finally, the militant groups state publicly that they want the land of Israel, not just the land Israel took in the 1967 war.
There are always bumps in the road, especially in a process like this. Both sides have to give. So far, Israel hasn't given anything. Until Sharon is held accountable for the actions of the Israeli military, there can be no peace. It takes a commitment from both sides and I haven't seen one from Israel nor do I believe that I will. That is a shame since I know that Jews, Christians and Muslims all mourn the loss of innocent lives on both sides of this ridiculous conflict.
Both sides have to give
Doug Fisher, USA
Send in UN peacekeepers. This act will force both sides to reconsider their intractable views. Furthermore, the US must no stop funding Israel. Nothing will change until something drastic happens.
Susan F, USA
This sad and sorry cycle will not be solved while two intransigent sides try and bomb each other into submission. One person's 'terrorist' will always be the other side's 'freedom fighter'. There is no moral high ground in this conflict.
There is no moral high ground in this conflict
This is a road to war, not peace. I understand that the Palestinians should be free, but I also understand that Israel should be free from attack. The more the Palestinians attack Israel, the stronger the radical Likud people become, and they control a fearsome military machine.
Peter Vevang, USA
I personally do not believe either the Palestinians or the Israelis when they make a pledge for peace. To mean it, the Palestinians need to arrest thousands of terrorists while the Israelis need to forcibly remove thousands of settlers.
David George, USA
As long as world refuse to acknowledge and confront Israel as an expansionist nation, no peace is possible.
The US and Israel must deal with Arafat. He is the one with the real power. He has cracked down on militancy before and he could do it again. The whole idea of sidelining Arafat was reckless.
The whole idea of sidelining Arafat was reckless
Unless a balanced roadmap can be put on the table, there is no chance of success. There are about 400,000 Israelis who live in illegal settlements all over the occupied region.
Jim Pershing, USA
The roadmap, this one or any other, can never survive the violence while Hamas and Jihad groups exist. These groups vowed to destroy Israel and kill all Israelis. They will never accept the state of Israel. How can there be a truce? The militant groups are not willing to negotiate. It's not difficult to predict that the Israeli government will keep the pressure on the Palestinian territories. It's an everlasting deadlock.
T.M. Ferreira, Portugal
If the Palestinian leadership won't wage war on Hamas and the other terrorists, then the US should take the lead in hunting down Palestinian terrorist and their leaders so Israel won't have to. The roadmap to peace in the Middle East should be through victory in the war on terrorism.
Most people agree that the only hope for Middle East peace is that the fanatical group Hamas ceases to exist, either through a negotiated cease-fire or through military force. Only if Israel makes good on their promise to wipe out Hamas by all means necessary could peace and coexistence replace an armed bloodbath at the centre of Middle East politics.
The only hope for Middle East peace is that the fanatical group Hamas ceases to exist
Sebastian, Oxford, England
Sebastian, Oxford, England
Occupation and peace can never exist side by side.
Until the Palestinians stop the homicide bombers, there will be no peace. Hamas attacks, Israel responds. It's a vicious cycle. If they could stop blowing up busses, and restaurants, Israel has no reason to strike back.
Paul, Tampa, USA
In this conflict the real division lies not between Israelis and Palestinians, but between those who want to make peace with the other side and those who have an interest in fuelling the conflict. Whose roadmap are we talking about? The Israeli and Palestinian radicals have a common interest in this conflict. Rabin's assassination in 1995 is evidence for this. This conflict is about power.
The Israeli and Palestinian radicals have a common interest in this conflict
Why the US is so keen on the roadmap? Why not implement UN resolutions on both parties? Or is it one rule for Israel and another for Iraq?
Killing innocent people is a crime, no matter whether they are Israelis killed by a suicide-bomber or Palestinian children killed as "collateral damage" in an Israeli helicopter attack. The only difference is that Sharon has full control over his army, whereas the Palestinian administration has no such control over Hamas.
An injustice has been done to Palestinians; their land snatched, their right to live taken away. They have reached a point where death is better than life. Give them back what is theirs. Occupation will give Israel land but not peace.
Occupation will give Israel land but not peace
The roadmap cannot work, because there isn't a real peace process in the region. People talk about peace, say it's what they want. They don't want peace, they want victory for their side.
Colin, Great Britain
Hams has achieved absolutely nothing by their acts of violence. Worse, they have labelled all Palestinians as terrorists and they have given the Israelis all the excuses they need for repression. The Palestinians have a just case; let them pursue it peacefully.
The roadmap was a disaster from the start. It is becoming clear that both sides are not ready to reach a peaceful agreement. The Americans bought the idea from Sharon that by sidelining Arafat and imposing a liberal as the chief Palestinian negotiator, the chances of success of the roadmap would be higher. This has backfired, because now even the PLO military wing has openly vowed to carry out suicide attacks against the Israelis.
It is becoming clear that both sides are not ready to reach a peaceful agreement
James Otieno, Kenya
If people blame Israel for attacking Hamas leaders and fail to condemn Hamas for their attacks, we are still a long way to peace
Opara Victor Chikodi, Nigerian in Estonia
The oppressed will always struggle for their freedom; the oppressors will always call them terrorists. Israel has never shown any real will to compromise. Its response to any call for peace has always been the escalation of provocative actions.
So another 6 people are killed. Palestinians militants will, without doubt, look to avenge these killings. As a result, Israel will, again, send in their gun ships. There are no winners and can be no winners in this senseless series of death and destruction. It seems to me that there are a small number of Palestinians with the sole but hopeless intent of destroying Israel. Peace will only come when Israel withdraws totally to its UN designated 1948 boundaries with the occupied territories being declared the sovereign state of Palestine. All sides will need to formally recognise the other with formal peace treaties in place, which guarantees both borders and the rights of people to visit their holy sites.
There are no winners and can be no winners in this senseless series of death and destruction
There will only be peace when leaders and followers understand that "killing" and "justice" are not the same thing.
Israelis are not committed to peace. It took Israel over 30 years to accept the right for Palestinian state to exist.
Anwar, Afghan in USA
To Anwar, most Arab nations, including the Palestinians, still do not accept the fact of an Israeli state.
Reckless disregard for civilian life is tantamount to terrorism. It's time the USA stopped funding all this, and placed Likud alongside Hamas in its list of proscribed organisations.
The Israeli Government isn't interested in peace, and the US government is only interested in the Israeli government. The Palestinian government is not provoking Hamas which is acting on its own, yet the Israeli government is killing innocent Palestinians every day.
Pete Nelson, USA
It saddens me to see that the plan that was launched so optimistically is now being endangered by new acts of violence from both sides. When will people learn that you cannot fight evil with evil?
Ville K, Finland
Until the people of the Middle East accept that human life has intrinsic value, there will be no peace in Israel or Palestine. The life of a Palestinian child is worth no more - or less - than the life of an Israeli reservists or a settler in the West Bank.
The life of a Palestinian is worth no more , or less, than the life of an Israeli
For each Israeli killed, four Palestinians are killed. If the killing of Israelis cannot be justified under any circumstances, how can you justify the killing of Palestinians.
When Hamas speaks of ending the occupation of the Palestinian territories, they are not just referring to the West Bank and Gaza, but Tel Aviv and Haifa as well. I think most Israeli's and supporters of Israel do not approve of the settlements, and abhor the suffering of the Palestinian people. But no amount of land sacrifice will ever be enough to satisfy Hamas and its supporters. Will Israel's right to exist ever be assured?
Hamas is defending its homeless people by using whatever means it has, just as the Jews are doing.
Hamas is defending its homeless people
While we must all deplore the violence in the Middle East, there is a big difference between Israel and Hamas's violence at the present time. Israel is a party to the roadmap and has agreed to it. Hamas is not and has declared it is out to smash the plan. If Abu Mazen and Yasser Arafat are to have any chance of reining in Hamas, Israel must show restraint.
The basic flaw in the road map is that it will set up two states with the Jewish people dominating one, and Muslims and Christians dominating the other. They would forever be distrustful of each other and there would always be border disputes and general friction. The only solution which can last is to create a secular state for all of Palestine.
Unfortunately, there seem to be people on both sides whose positions are so intractable that peace seems almost impossible. The Palestinian authority doesn't seem to have a chance in persuading the terrorist organisations that their actions are not justified. The Israeli government seems as though it will never grasp the fact that their war on terror is as self defeating and misguided as Bush and Blair efforts, and that launching missiles at cars containing Hamas leaders will spawn 10 more terrorists for every one they kill. The roadmap was never a viable route to peace as it asked both sides to make compromises, which is obviously something that is way beyond both their means.
The roadmap was never a viable route to peace as it asked both sides to make compromises
Whatever the 'settlement issue', nothing can justify the vicious murder of 16 people sitting on a bus in a city centre. Any new outpost or settlement can always be torn down in the future - yet those 16 lives can never be brought back. As in Northern Ireland a cessation of terrorist violence has to come before peace negotiations otherwise you end up condoning terrorist murder as a valid tool of negotiation. Allowing terrorist violence as part of a peace process was not a feature of the Northern Ireland process and neither should it be part of the Mid East peace process.
Settlements can always be torn down - yet those 16 lives can never be brought back
Daniel, Tel Aviv, Israel
To Daniel in Tel Aviv: Do you really see a difference in the loss of innocent life at the hands of a suicide bomber or as collateral damage by Israeli rocket attacks? This has also been the response of Mr. Bush who condemned the suicide bombings but said nothing about the death of innocent Palestinian. Silence is often louder than words.
To Daniel, Tel Aviv: Do you think that only the Palestinians have extremists? How about Likud? The best thing Israel can do is to withdraw from the 1967 lands, then peace will prevail. Tawfiq, Canada
To Tawfiq, Canada: Do you really think that if Israel withdrew to it's pre 1967 borders that Hamas and their ilk will stop the violence? I don't think so and neither do the Israelis. Hamas preaches the total destruction of the Jewish state and they have no desire for a peace that achieves anything less. There can be no peace while this mindset exists.
Hamas preaches the total destruction of the Jewish state and they have no desire for a peace that achieves anything less
The so called roadmap to peace was devised solely to distract the attention of the aggression by the USA and UK on Iraq. It was an empty gesture to Muslims that the West cared about the Palestinians.
By attacking Hamas, Sharon is giving the extremists an excuse to continue the conflict, thereby wrecking all hopes for peace. Bush must call him to account for his action against peace .
Gary Walsh, England
Gary Walsh has it right. Sooner or later one side or the other must take the stance of the "bigger man" and refuse to be goaded into another cycle of futile revenge.
Bob, USA from England
When the vast majority of the people had their say, they chose Sharon instead of peace. With democracy comes responsibility, and with occupation also comes responsibility. The people have failed, and so has the leadership.
With democracy comes responsibility, and with occupation also comes responsibility
Forest G, London UK
No. Israel has to first stop its terrorists. A dead civilian does not ask whether the missile was fired by a helicopter gunship or a home-made launcher. How can Bush expect the Palestinians to stop bombing, when they know that Israel can invade and wipe them all out if they felt like it? Bush made a stand against Iraq, now let us see if he will stand up to the extreme right wing Israelis who believe that the Palestinians should be forced out into the desert.
You wish peace in the Middle East? Then take Hamas out of the equation by whatever means necessary. It's just a matter of time when Israel will lose patience and will pull out all stops and end this terrorism once and for all.. People are losing sympathy for the Palestinian cause every time they see a Palestinian terrorist needlessly kill innocent people. It serves no purpose whatsoever. Hamas does not care about peace, they only wish to kill and terrorise.
Take Hamas out of the equation by whatever means necessary
James M, USA
To James M: Take religion out and then you stand a far better chance of achieving world peace, let alone the Israel - Hamas issue.
As a recent non-Jewish British visitor to Jerusalem, I walked up and down and took buses along the Jaffa Road only a couple of weeks ago. I am sickened and appalled by the latest terrorist bus bombing there. There is no moral equivalence between deliberate mutilation and murder and a fight to protect their citizens by Israeli security forces. I do feel considerable concern for the plight of the present day Palestinians and their situation as political pawns in a much bigger anti-Israel Arab agenda.