Bush Predicts Mideast Peace Treaty Before He Leaves White House

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — President Bush says he has 12 months to usher in peace treaty between Israelis and Palestinians, and he’s confident that it will happen.

Bush is on a three-day visit to Israel and the West Bank to show support for renewed peace talks.

He says he’s convinced that both Israeli and Palestinian leaders understand “the importance of democratic states living side by side,” and noted he has until the end of his term next year to make progress. He says he’s confident that Palestinians will get their own state, “with proper help.”

Still, Bush says he’s not sure that the problem of militant Islamic group Hamas can be solved within the 12-month time frame. Bush says while the group was elected for the benefit of Palestinians, it has “delivered nothing but misery.”

Bush has named a U.S. Air Force General to monitor progress on the U.S.-backed peace plan known as the “roadmap.” Lieutenant General William Fraser is an assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.