Condoleezza Rice, the U.S Secretary of State, arrived at Egypt’s capital Cairo, on first stop during her visit to Middle East.Rice is expected to arrive in Israeli on Tuesday afternoon. Rice’s visit to the region comes inan attempt to revive peace talks. In Cairo Rice meet with the Egypt’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, then had talks with the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
The Secretary of State told reporters that the Hamas movement, is trying to destroy the peace talks. The Palestinian-Israeli peace talks have been advancing very slowly, without concrete results, since they were first revived by the US-sponsored peace summit of Annapolis in November 2007.
On Sunday the Palestinian president suspended talks with Israeli until it halts its attacks. The Israeli army pulled its ground troops out from Gaza on Monday, but air raids still continue.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehod Olmert said, that although he will pursue postponed negotiations with the Palestinian President Abbas, the Israeli military would attack the Gaza Strip to, allegedly stop home made shells being fired from Gaza into Israeli towns.
The Israeli attacks on Gaza, which escalated on Wednesday and continued through Monday morning, left 120 Palestinians dead and over 300 injured. Of those killed during the five â€“day offensive, at least 95 were civilians.
Rice told reporters in Cairo ‘There has to be an active peace process that can withstand the efforts of those who reject it, the people who are firing home made shells do not want peace,’ she added ‘They sow instability, that is what Hamas is doing.’
Hamas took total control of the Gaza strip on June 2007 after several months of infighting with their rival president Abbas’ Fatah party.
Amidst the escalating Israeli attacks, and Palestinian dissatisfaction from the peace talks Rice faces a very difficult uphill struggle in order to resume the stalled peace talks, launched last November.
The current American administration is keen to achieve Palestinian Israeli peace deal before it ends term in January 2009.