Lawmaker: Palestinians face one of most difficult phases in their history

The Palestinian people have plunged into a deep depression with unemployment and poverty at record levels, and peace with Israel is the only answer, a longtime Palestinian lawmaker said. Palestinians are experiencing "one of the most difficult phases in our history," said Hanan Ashrawi, an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and an active voice in the Mideast peace process. "Now we see not just a political and economic battle but a battle over the soul of Palestine," she told an audience of about 200 gathered at Emory University. "We find ourselves in the grip of ... the deconstruction of Palestine."