By Gaby Schwarzmann (Bogeret, Madricha and CCR and Kehilla representative on Va'ad Tnuah)
As the Second Intifada continued, the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia (“the Quartet on the Middle East”) to propose the “Road Map for Peace” to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The final draft of this plan was announced by George W Bush on 30 April. The Roadmap had three phases intended to create an independent Palestinian state and end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by 2005. On 29 June a unilateral cease-fire was declared, joined by Hamas, and on 1 July, Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas held the first ever ceremonial opening to peace talks, televised in both Arabic and Hebrew. However, the cease-fire quickly collapsed when the IDF killed 2 civilians in an operation to arrest Hamas members on the 3 July. By the end of 2003, the Palestinian Authority had not prevented Palestinian terrorism and Israel had neither withdrawn from Palestinian areas, nor frozen settlement expansion. The requirements of Phase I of the Roadmap were therefore unfulfilled and it eventually reached deadlock.