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News Brief

March 10, 2006
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Ehud Olmert said he plans to set Israel’s permanent borders by 2010. Israel’s interim prime minister said in a Jerusalem Post interview published Thursday that, if he wins the March 28 general elections, he would order West Bank withdrawals within four years in order to “get to Israel’s permanent borders, whereby we will completely separate from the majority of the Palestinian population and preserve a large and stable Jewish majority in Israel.” Olmert also ruled out a future meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas given Hamas’ political dominance in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. “There can only be a reason for a meeting if it serves a political purpose,” he said. “If the government is a Hamas one, what political purpose can it serve?” Opinion polls predict that Olmert’s Kadima Party will take around 38 of the Knesset’s 120 seats in the election, making Olmert the front-runner for prime minister.

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