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Israelis and Palestinians Challenge "Road Map" Adjustments - 2003-06-04


Israelis and Palestinians face many challenges in the upcoming months as they adjust to the possible changes to come with the road map peace plan. Miguel Rivera has more on this dimension of the story.

One of the challenges is that many Israelis and Palestinians have spent much of their lives seeing only the worst in each other. Many of the Jewish settlers believe that giving the land back is unthinkable.

UNIDENTIFIED JEWISH SETTLER
"It's our land. It's written in the Bible. It's our tradition here, it's our land and that is all."

And not many have faith in a new Palestinian Prime Minister to control the extremists.

UNIDENTIFIED JEWISH SETTLER
"I don't see the Palestinians today putting order, stopping and arresting all terror activities in the Palestinian Authorities.”

Palestinians are almost universally cynical about the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon.

UNIDENTIFIED PALESTINIAN
"I think he is trying to undermine our whole viability or existence in Palestine as a nation. Everyday on TV you see the destruction of houses, you see assassinations, it is a whole series of things that indicate one thing, that this man is up to total "victory" against a nation. He is not fighting terror, he is fighting us."

This Palestinian lives near the separation fence or wall, really that Israelis are building through the occupied territories. It is described as the largest construction project in Israeli history.

UNIDENTIFIED PALESTINIAN (in Arabic)
"I feel like I am in a prison. I am a prisoner. They have that area, so all I have is Ramallah."

Will these be the facts on the ground? Is this how Israelis and Palestinians envision the future? For the Palestinians and some Israelis too, this is forcing Palestinians to live in open prisons. Fox many Israelis who live in fear of terrorists, the wall is what you get when you are not able to trust the Palestinians.

UNIDENTIFIED ISRAELI
"Bush got rid of the guy in Iraq, who was supporting terrorism and there are a lot of other places out there like that including Arafat. He just happens to be a lot closer to us, that's all, next door."

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