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Home >> World
UPDATED: 16:45, March 28, 2006
Israel's Olmert vows to quit settlements beyond separation wall
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Israeli Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, whose centrist Kadima party is tipped to get the most seats in the parliamentary elections, said that Israel would quit all the settlements beyond the separation wall in the West Bank if Kadima won, according to media reports on Tuesday.

In an article published by Israel's leading Yediot Ahronot daily on Tuesday, Olmert wrote, "Israel will determine the route of the security fence and then make sure that no Jewish settlements will be left on the other side of the fence."

In addition, Olmert termed fixing the final borders with the Palestinians as an "obligation" of the Israeli leaders.

Olmert's article was released just as Israel started national elections to choose a new 120-member parliament.

Public opinion surveys showed that Kadima, founded by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and now led by Olmert, would win 35 to 40 seats, well ahead of its two major rivals of the center-left Labor party and the center-right Likud party.

Olmert has already announced his intention to unilaterally nail down the borders with the Palestinians within four years by quitting small settlements but strengthening large blocs.

Olmert has been a staunch supporter of Israel's Gaza pullout last summer.

Israel said that the separation wall, under building in the West Bank, is to fend off Palestinian militant attacks, but seen by the Palestinians as a land grab.

Source: Xinhua

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