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News Brief

August 13, 2004
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Israel likely will evacuate more that the four West Bank settlements slated for removal under its withdrawal plan, an Israeli Cabinet minister said. “In the future there will be a need to evacuate more communities in Judea and Samaria, not because it is the right thing to do, but because there is no alternative if we are to remain a Jewish and democratic state,” Ehud Olmert told settler leaders Thursday. Ariel Sharon reportedly was furious over Olmert’s comments, though Olmert often has broached new policies for the prime minister. Under the current plan to disengage from the Palestinians, Israel is to remove all its settlements in the Gaza Strip but only four in the West Bank.

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