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News Brief

February 16, 2005
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Israel plans to create new towns in the Negev and West Bank for settlers evacuated from the Gaza Strip. An Interior Ministry committee this week approved the Halutzit 4 program in the Negev, with orders for 500 homes earmarked for Israelis evacuated from Gaza under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s withdrawal plan. On Tuesday, the Housing Ministry announced a plan to create a new settlement, Gvaot, in the West Bank’s Gush Etzion settlement bloc.

Israel’s top general demanded that Mahmoud Abbas prosecute terrorists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. “We will not be satisfied with just a deployment of police,” Israel’s military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya’alon, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday, referring to Palestinian Authority security forces that the P.A. president ordered to stop Hamas rocket fire in the Gaza Strip last month.

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