Report: Olmert wants to hold on to W. Bank blocs

February 7, 2006 11:31


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Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in his first interview since taking power last month, will tell the Israeli public he intends to hold on to Israel's three major settlement blocs as well as West Bank communities on the border with Jordan, the interviewer told Army Radio on Tuesday. This would be the first time that Olmert went into detail on Israel's final borders as he sees them, and position his Kadima Party more clearly ahead of March 28 elections. The interview with Olmert was taped Tuesday morning and is to be broadcast Tuesday night. Asked by Army Radio what the highlights of the interview were, reporter Nissim Mishal said it was the first time that Olmert went into detail on what Israel would retain. Pressed on whether Olmert specified whether he intended to hold on to the three settlement blocs and the Jordan Valley settlements, Mishal replied, "Yes, yes. This is the first time that a sitting prime minister ... has mentioned the communities that you mentioned - the Jordan Valley, Ariel, Gush Etzion, Maaleh Adumim."

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