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Saturday, March 3, 2007

Peres - Government will remove dozens of Jewish settlements

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/03/peres-government-will-remove-dozens-of.html

It is not clear if Peres means "settlements" or outposts. There are 121 settlements, but this number may have been added by Reuters. Reuters writes incorrectly:
 
 
But Hamas leaders have offered a long-term truce with Israel in return for a viable Palestinian state alongside it.
Actually Hamas would grant a truce only if Israel agrees to right of return for Palestinian refugees, which would end the Jewish state, as well as withdrawing to 1967 borders.
 
Ami Isseroff




NEWSDESK
Israel could remove dozens of settlements-Peres
03 Mar 2007 21:00:11 GMT
Source: Reuters

http://mobile.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L03446020.htm

By Dan Williams
JERUSALEM, March 3 (Reuters) - Israel could remove dozens of Jewish settlements from the occupied West Bank, Vice Premier Shimon Peres said on Saturday.
"Yes, settlements will be removed -- not all the settlements, and I'm not even sure most of the settlements," Peres told Israel's Channel Two television.

The number of the 121 settlements evacuated could be in the dozens, he said. "I think that a serious effort will be made to do that which we undertook to do which is removing settlements."
Israel quit the Gaza Strip unilaterally in 2005 but shelved plans for West Bank pullouts after last year's Lebanon war. Many Israelis oppose removals for fear of bolstering Hamas, the governing Palestinian Islamist faction.
Asked if the Palestinian government could hold talks with Israel on the settlement evacuations and thus affect their scale and pace, Peres said: "If Hamas is willing to negotiate, recognize Israel and achieve peace, then definitely, yes.
"We will implement it according to actions" by the Palestinian government, said Peres, senior deputy to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Olmert's ability to carry out a major West Bank withdrawal over the objections of pro-settler Israelis is in doubt, given his plummeting popularity since the inconclusive July-August war with Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas.
Palestinians seek a state in the West Bank and Gaza, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
Hamas, whose military wing helped spearhead a 6-year-old Palestinian revolt with a wave of suicide bombings, insists it will not formally recognise Israel. Hamas's 1988 founding charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.
But Hamas leaders have offered a long-term truce with Israel in return for a viable Palestinian state alongside it.
The Islamist group last month signed a power-sharing deal with the more moderate Fatah faction in the hope of winning Western approval.
A quartet of international mediators has said it awaits word on the diplomatic platform of the planned Hamas-Fatah coalition government, and for now is maintaining a Western aid embargo imposed on the Palestinians after Hamas took power.
Around 268,380 Jewish settlers and 2.5 million Palestinians live in the West Bank. Israel has said it will keep major West Bank settlement blocs under any final peace accord, a position rejected by Palestinians.


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