The incident occurred just prior to President Bush’s trip to the Middle East that will include his first visits to Israel and the West Bank as president. Israel is planning its largest security operation since the Pope’s visit in 2000. A security force of more than 10,000 officers will be on duty to protect President Bush. Police say the president’s hotel in Jerusalem will resemble Fort Knox. On Monday President Bush said he wants to help push talks between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
President Bush: “As I already said, there is going to be a timetable, one timetable is the departure of George W. Bush from the White House. Not that I’m a great, you know, heroic figure, but they know me and they’re comfortable with me and I’m a known quantity, and therefore the question is will they decide to make the effort necessary to get the deal done while I’m president. As opposed to, maybe the next person won’t agree with the two-state or maybe the next person will take a while to get moving”.