Bush Team Backs Israel, Set Conditions For Meeting Arafat

US Secretary of State Colin Powell has affirmed that Israel's use of American-supplied weapons in pre-emptive strikes against Palestinian terrorists is not a breach of the contractual terms of sale, while other Bush administration officials continue to stand behind Israel's dogged fight against Palestinian terrorism. Yet the question remains whether US President George W. Bush is about to cave in and finally hold his first meeting with PLO chief Yasser Arafat.

Bush Shuts Office of Special Mideast Envoy

US Secretary of State Colin Powell revealed on Tuesday the Bush Administration will not appoint a new Middle East peace envoy to replace Dennis Ross, signaling that America will play a less active role in the peace process than in the past. US President George W. Bush also plans to begin the "process" of moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as promised in the recent campaign.