President Bush said that the current level of violence in the Gaza Strip is troubling, but Mr. Bush said that he still believes peace is possible between Israelis and Palestinians.

The president says Israel has every right to defend itself from terrorism, but he made clear the current situation in Gaza is worrisome. "The unfolding violence in the Gaza Strip is troubling and underscores the need for all parties to seize every opportunity for peace," he stated.

The comments came in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a private group which advocates strong U.S. ties with Israel. Mr. Bush said everyone in the region must fight terror, saying security is the foundation for peace. ?Our vision is a Middle East where young Israelis and Palestinians can play and learn and grow without living in the shadow of death,? he added.

The president said that peace is possible if all sides have the faith, the courage and the resolve to achieve it.