Steinitz has no hope for Rice's upcoming visit

MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) has no expectations for an upcoming visit that will be made by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, he told Israel Radio on Tuesday morning. "Everybody who looks at the situation with open eyes understands that [PA Chairman] Mahmoud Abbas is not a partner since he lost the Gaza Strip two years after we delivered Gaza into his hands… which turned into Hamastan. Only a crazy country would conduct another experiment with the West Bank after what happened in Gaza," said Steinitz. The Knesset member said that "unless several years of war against terror and extremism pass," there would be no chance to withdraw from more settlements. Steinitz went on to say that he believed the Middle East peace conference proposed by US President George W. Bush would not achieve its apparent goals. "It's hard to say no to Bush… Both Bush and [Middle East Quartet Envoy Tony] Blair know that this is all some kind of show," he said. The MK added Israel should demand that the US ensure all boats and planes to be sold to Saudi Arabia will be stationed in the Iranian front and not near Israel. Steinitz said he will promote this issue at the next joint security committee held by the Knesset and Congress. He also added that if Washington decides to increase Egypt's aid, they should also be required to station forces far from Israel and to fight the Gaza Strip smugglings vigorously.