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News Brief

May 26, 2006
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Israel plans to expand and annex the Jewish settlements in and around Hebron, one of Ehud Olmert’s confidants said. “Hebron and Kiryat Arba are supposed to be part of the Israeli state,” Otniel Schneller told The Associated Press on Thursday, referring to a Jewish enclave inside the biblical city and a major settlement on its periphery. Schneller, a senior member of the ruling Kadima Party who is helping the Israeli prime minister formulate his West Bank withdrawal plan, also said “the Jewish neighborhood in Hebron will grow” and be linked to Kiryat Arba. It was the first time an Israeli official had discussed plans for Hebron, a major flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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