Photo: Haim Tzach
Olmert. 'We'll relocate settlements'
Photo: Haim Tzach

Olmert: We'll relocate settlements to blocs

In interview to Newsweek set to be published Sunday, Acting PM says Israel will not wait 'forever' for Palestinians, may need to launch unilateral withdrawal plan from West Bank. We have to provide PA with territorial contiguity, he states

The majority of settlements that will be evacuated in the next Israeli pullout from areas in the West Bank will be moved to settlement blocs, and the security fence's route will be consequently modified according to the new bloc map, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Newsweek Magazine in an interview set to be published Sunday.


In the interview Olmert stated that no Israeli will continue to live outside the fence, both for security reasons and also in a bid to provide the Palestinians with territorial contiguity and an opportunity to establish an independent state.


According to Kadima's head, who has been assigned by President Moshe Katsav the task of forming the next Israeli government, the fact that his party emerged from the recent elections as the biggest faction attests to the Israeli voter's support of the withdrawal plan.


When asked about his expectations from the American administration, Olmert said he was hoping to secure the United States' backing in the process, and that he intends to try and reach an understanding with the Americans regarding any steps Israel will take.


'No funds for Hamas-led PA'


It is important to understand, Olmert told Newsweek, that if Israel arrives at the conclusion that the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority is not willing to commit to the Road Map peace plan's prerequisites, "Israel cannot wait forever." According to Olmert, it was possible to create a new reality based on the premise that the two countries should live side by side, and that the Palestinians need territorial contiguity in order to found a state.


Olmert said he had no plan of posing an ultimatum to the PA, adding that if the Palestinians were unwilling to follow the conditions set out for negotiations, Israel would launch a unilateral move. He also stated that he hoped an international front will be formed against the Hamas cabinet, and stressed Israel shall not transfer any funds to the PA, but will seek ways to channel the money directly to humanitarian organizations.


Responding to a question about the Iranian threat to Israel, Olmert said that Israel will not tolerate a situation in which Iran has effective control over unconventional weapons that may be used against Israel. He however added that he hoped Israel would not need to resort to military means and that the Iranian nuclear program will be terminated by way of diplomatic talks.


פרסום ראשון: 04.08.06, 18:51
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