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Netanyahu refuses to evacuate settlements

Jan. 30, 2009 at 12:51 PM
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JERUSALEM, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Benjamin Netanyahu, chairman of Israel's Likud Party, says he will not support Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's plan to evacuate West Bank settlements.

Netanyahu criticized his fellow Israeli official for reaching an agreement with Palestinian officials that could evacuate the country's West Bank settlements, divide Jerusalem and bring back the region's 1967 borders, the Haaretz newspaper reported Friday.

"I will not keep Olmert's commitments to withdraw and I won't evacuate settlements. Those understandings are invalid and unimportant," Netanyahu said Thursday.

Netanyahu also criticized Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni for her part in the Palestinian talks, saying the Israeli official "gave up" Jerusalem too easily.

"Livni simply gave up Jerusalem," the Likud official said.

Haaretz said Netanyahu has called on members of the Kadima Party and Zionist organizations of Israel to join his coalition in opposition of the Middle Eastern agreement.

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