A senior diplomatic official called the cancellation of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's Israel visit unprecedented, Israel Radio reported on Tuesday.

According to the official, Washington's decision could be interpreted in the region as meaning that the US believed the peace process could not move forward due to the situation in Israel.

However, Dov Weisglass, who served as an adviser to former prime minister Ariel Sharon, told Army Radio on Tuesday morning that Rice's decision to cancel her trip may have been connected to situation in the PA, not necessarily the Israeli government alone.

Weisglass noted that with the current anarchy in the Gaza Strip and West Bank due to the infighting between the Fatah and Hamas factions, it would be difficult to determine which officials to hold talks with.


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Meanwhile, sources in Jerusalem expressed surprise over the cancellation, the report said, since meetings with the US Embassy had taken place just the day before in preparation for Rice's visit.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has cancelled a trip to Israel planned for next week due to the unstable political situation in Israel, the Foreign Ministry confirmed late Monday night.