Rice Tries to Salvage Mideast Peace Plan
Blames Hamas for sabotaging talks with violence
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2008 8:16 AM CST
Palestinians gather next to the rubble of a mosque that was part of a compound used by the security forces of Hamas the day after it was hit in an Israeli missile strike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Condoleezza Rice made stops in both Cairo and Israel today in her effort to restart stalled peace talks, telling reporters that she understood "Israel's need to defend itself" against Hamas rockets, but was concerned about "the loss of innocent life" in Israel's retaliatory offensive in Gaza. Rice blamed Hamas for using the rockets to derail the two-state solution in the region.

"Hamas is doing what might be expected, which is using rocket attacks on Israel to arrest a peace process in which they have nothing to gain," she said. After meeting with the Egyptian president, Rice will sit down with Mahmoud Abbas this afternoon, reports the AFP, and have dinner with Tzipi Livni, her Israeli counterpart.