It's an important test, because if a deal reached with the Israelis isn't worth anything then maybe the situation has to be delt with differently. Screwing the Palestinians may be easy, but messing with the Quartet once a deal is reached is a totally different thing. The challenging to the authority of Condoleezza Rice and treatment of Bush as a 'lame duck' already isn't anything that is going to go down well in Washington. "We are under no pressure from Washington" is a direct lie because the pressure is indeed on. Now the question is really whether the Bush administration is willing to allow for Sharon to save face in this confrontation with Washington, in a way support him by making him look anything like the pathetic jerk he really is. I doubt it, I think the Americans are rather fed up with Sharon and the Israeli back tracking, lying and foot dragging. The plus of having Monitors on the ground is that the ordinary Israeli lies will be exposed for what they are. "We will not allow for a Gaza Prison" is now being tested as well, because the Israelis just can't let go. The West Bank and The Gaza Strip is to be a future state of Palestine and as such has to be viable and Independent. Something that is, at the moment, in doubt. This is a fine oppertunity for Bush to show that at least the Americans don't go back on a done deal. Because if they do, then no deals can be made. Israel has here once again shown what an utter Banana Republic it has turned into.
Palestinian youths throw stones at security forces in Shoafat, E. Jerusalem; none injured (Haaretz)
from the article: Israel suspends convoy deal; U.S.: Buses must run