Palestinian Authority Fatah Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has come to the conclusion that an agreement between Israel and the PA will not be reached before US President George W. Bush leaves office.

Fayyad told the Reuters news agency during a private visit to Austin, Texas, “I do not believe that the final resolution…will be completed in the course of this year. I don’t think that is likely.”

The centerpiece of the Bush administration’s bid at Mid-East peacemaking been the call for an agreement by the end of 2008.

The PA Prime Minister blamed Israel for the lack of progress in negotiations, particularly over the issue of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. “The short-term track is not moving as well as it needs to for the political process…in particular, the lack of an adequately firm commitment with regard to the settlements,” he said.

Prior to the Bush administration’s end-of-2008 push, negotiations were to have followed the blueprint established in the US-backed Roadmap Plan, which calls for Israeli concessions in exchange for complete cessation of terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens.

The PA government headed by Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has not stopped terrorists in any of its territories from perpetrating attacks against Israel, despite – or perhaps because of a variety of – “good will gestures” by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Hundreds of terrorists were freed from Israeli prisons and hundreds more who were not yet caught were granted amnesty after signing documents promising they would not return to their violent ways.

Millions of shekels in tax funds collected on behalf of the PA, which was frozen after Hamas was elected to lead the government in a landslide victory in January 2006, were transferred to Abbas’s coffers, allegedly to be withheld from Hamas.

In addition, a number of checkpoints were removed and other security measures which prevented infiltration of suicide bombers into pre-1967 Israel were relaxed.  Several Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria were destroyed as well.

Even as Fayyad claimed Israel was dragging its feet in meeting its obligations under the Roadmap, two suicide bombers made their way from Hevron to Dimona where one succeeded in blowing himself up in the busy commercial center Monday morning. The other was injured in the blast and shot dead by a nearby police superintendent after he was identified as a terrorist by a doctor who had rushed to treat him, not realizing what he was.

Fayyad also claimed “there is a lack of will by Israel to be flexible on communities in Judea and Samaria and on patrols [in the territories] which make it difficult for PA police to maintain law and order.”

He did not mention the recent ambushes and murders of innocent Israelis by PA police officers.

Three gunmen riding in a sport utility vehicle attacked three young Israeli hikers when they happened upon them in the Telem Spring area in the first week of January. The cell, which included two members of the official PA “national security force” murdered two of the hikers, both off-duty IDF soldiers, in cold blood. The soldiers managed to engage the terrorists, killing one and critically injuring a second one despite their own mortal wounds while their female companion fled and called for help. The second murderer later died of his wounds. They were sheltered after the incident at the local PA police station and Israeli officials were not informed until the General Security Service (Shabak) demanded the PA turn over the murder weapons.

Two active members of the PA “national security force” and a former fellow PA police officer ambushed and murdered a resident of Shavei Shomron as he drove along the road near the Arab village of Kadum on November 19. The 29-year-old husband and father who was expelled from his home in nearby Homesh during the 2005 Disengagement, was shot at point-blank range. The three terrorists admitted to waiting in their car by the side of the road for an Israeli vehicle to pass, following the victim’s car and firing at him as they drove past. They returned to their village after the murder. Two subsequently were caught in a joint operation by the IDF and Shin Bet. The third was arrested by fellow PA police officers and remains in PA custody.

The murder took place two weeks before Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak signed a joint declaration of understanding with PA Chairman Abbas and PA Prime Minister Fayyad in Annapolis.

President Bush announced during the Annapolis summit that he believed a final status agreement would be reached before the end of his term in January 2009.