Netanyahu: Illegal settlements will go

June 1, 2009 at 11:00 AM
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JERUSALEM, June 1 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says there will be no new Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and illegal outposts there will be dismantled.

Speaking Monday before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee for the first time since becoming prime minister two months ago, Netanyahu said while he doesn't intend to "freeze life in Judea and Samaria," he won't allow any new settlements, the Israeli Web site reported.

"We won't build new settlements," Netanyahu told lawmakers. "The plan is to dismantle unauthorized outposts. There are reasonable demands and unreasonable demands," he said, referring to a request by U.S. President Barack Obama during a meeting last month in Washington to halt new settlement building. "The settlements' fate will be determined in the permanent (Palestinian-Israeli) agreement."

Netanyahu's comments came as Israeli security forces Monday evacuated the northern West Bank outpost of Nachalat Yosef. Defense Minister Ehud Barak told reporters last week that Israel was not bowing to U.S. pressure in dismantling such outposts, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

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