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70 Knesset members back paying settlers

Haim Ramon said he has the support of 70 lawmakers to pay settlers east of the West Bank security barrier to move.

The deputy prime minister has been Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s stalking horse on possible concessions to the renewed U.S.-initiated Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

According to the daily Ha’aretz, Ramon says he now has the backing of a majority of the 120-member Knesset to compensate settlers willing to decamp from parts of the West Bank east of the barrier. Ramon says he may present the bill as early as March.

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