Bush travels through Israeli checkpoint

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Heavy fog in the West Bank has given President Bush an unscheduled, close-up glimpse of the frustrations faced daily by Palestinians.

Instead of taking a helicopter to his talks in Ramallah, the president was driven from Jerusalem by motorcade. At one point he passed through a security checkpoint and drove within sight of the separation barrier despised by Palestinians.

Bush later quipped that the dozens of vehicles in his motorcade made it through without being stopped. But he added, he's "not so exactly sure that's what happens to the average person."

When he was asked later about the 30-minute drive, the president acknowledged the indignities faced by Palestinians trying to get from place to place. He mentioned the case of a man held up for hours by Israeli security even though he was a Palestinian peace negotiator.

Bush noted that the checkpoints "create a sense of security for Israel," but he said "they create massive frustration for the Palestinians."

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