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Ehud Olmert told his Cabinet that current “serious” peace negotiations mean that it must begin thinking about relocating some citizens.

The prime minister made the remarks Sunday before the Cabinet postponed debate due to lack of time on a bill that would pay West Bank settlers to voluntarily leave their homes.

“(A)t a time when serious and continuing diplomatic negotiations are being held, and it should be clear to everyone that they will likely, at some point, lead also to the need to make decisions that will entail the relocation of residents from the places in which they live, it would be proper for us to think about its significance and aspects,” Olmert said.

“More than once it has been claimed in the last year or two that certain matters related to the evacuation from the bloc of communities in the Gaza Strip was not prepared for properly, that there was no forethought and that, as a result, unnecessary suffering was caused to very many people. I assume that, now, some will claim that this is too early.”

Many Cabinet ministers were upset that debate on the settlers’ bill had been scheduled for two weeks before the Kadima Party primary, saying it would make it impossible for the new leader to include the right-wing parties in a new government coalition.

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