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Israel will transfer 2 percent of the West Bank, or some 44 square miles, from sole Israeli control to joint control with the Palestinian Authority after the Cabinet approved the first of three Israeli redeployments called for under the Wye accord. In addition, Israel will hand over 7.1 percent of land in the region from joint to sole Palestinian control. The Cabinet vote, 7-5 with three abstentions, came after ministers decided that the Palestinian Authority had met its initial obligations under the land-for-security accord. Reacting to the Cabinet decision, the Yesha Council, which represents settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, said it was “astounded” that the Israeli government had been duped by Arafat.

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