Still, the diplomatic angle of the visit isn't likely to produce any results. It's a visit between lame ducks, though legacy building is always a burning desire among such individuals to try and push through a deal that cements their place in history. As such, President Bush thinks that a deal is possible before the end of his term. I put the prospects of a deal at somewhere between slim and none.
Israeli Prime Minister Olmert is saddled with a corruption scandal that might finally do what failings in the Hizbullah war and the complete inability to deal with the rocket war in Gaza couldn't - force/remove him from office. Few have any confidence in the guy, and the ongoing fighting in both Gaza and the West Bank is a sign that he's not up to the challenge of defending Israel's national security interests.
At the same time, the so-called partner in peace, Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah thugs, are watching their popularity slip even further. Their popularity is slipping and guess who benefits? Hamas. The other terrorist group that seeks nothing less than Israel's destruction and who is behind turning Gaza into a rocket and mortar launching pad from which thousands of rockets and mortars have been fired into Israel in the hopes of killing and maiming as many Israelis as possible.
After leaving Israel, President Bush will visit Egypt and Saudi Arabia and will meet with King Abdullah II of Jordan and Abbas as well before delivering a speech at the World Economic Forum.
Welcome to Israel President Bush - Palestinian terrorists wound dozens in a rocket attack that slammed into a shopping center in Ashkelon.
Dozens of people were wounded on Wednesday evening, including a baby girl, when a rocket fired from Gaza hit the Hutzot Shopping Center in Ashkelon.And you still think that Israel has a partner in peace when Hamas controls Gaza and seeks nothing less than Israel's destruction?
The rocket hit the top floor of the building.
Several people were reportedly trapped in the rubble.
The attack came as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and US President George W. Bush concluded their meeting in Jerusalem.
Number of days since last Israeli injured by rocket/mortar fire: 0
Number of days since last Israeli killed by rocket/mortar fire: pending updates.