Israel will enlarge Jewish settlement enclaves in the West Bank city of Hebron and include them within the country's final borders, said Otniel Schneller, a lawmaker who is helping to formulate Olmert's realignment plan.
It was the first time a government official has said Israel intends on retaining the volatile area, located well inside the West Bank, under Olmert's plan to unilaterally set Israel's final borders by 2008.
Schneller said that the Jewish neighborhoods of Hebron will be connected to the nearby settlement of Kiryat Arba, and the two communities included in Israel.
"The Jewish neighborhood in Hebron will grow" and be linked to Kiryat Arba, Schneller told The Associated Press. "Hebron and Kiryat Arba are supposed to be part of the Israeli state."