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Bush's visit brings winds of comfort
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U.S. President George W. Bush's ongoing Mideast visit may bring winds of comfort rather than peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, said political analysis, though premier Ehud Olmert promised Thursday an Israeli parliament approval of Palestinian statehood once the time arrives.

"President Bush's visit can not assist in overcoming the grave and serious difficulties of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process," Shlomo Avineri, Professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, told Xinhua on Thursday.

The main purpose of Bush's visit is to salute Israel's 60th birthday and to show U.S. supports for Israel, which just carries a symbolic meaning, he said.

In his point of view, the gap between Israel and the Palestinians is too deep regarding the final-status issues including the return of Palestinian refugees, Jerusalem and the borders.

"There is no meaning to the agreements that were achieved or will be achieved as long as Hamas controls the Gaza Strip," Avineri said, adding "it is hard to see a peace agreement being achieved anytime in the near future."

"The Palestinians need to reach peace among themselves before they sit around the negotiation table in an attempt to reach peace with Israel," he stressed.

Almost half a year has passed since the U.S.-host international conference on Mideast peace held at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

It was orchestrated by President Bush who brought together Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister TzipiLivni, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his premier Salam Fayyad.

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