Israel will say ‘farewell’ to its territories

Israel will say ‘farewell’ to parts of land TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (news - web sites) said on Thursday it was "clear" Israel would have to give up some occupied territory but would speed up construction of a West Bank barrier it deems vital to its security. "It is clear that in the end we will not be in all the places where we are now," the right-wing premier told editors in a speech. "(But) we are accelerating the fence and we won't stop it because it is essential to the security of the state." Sharon, longtime patron of Jewish settlements on territory captured in the 1967 Middle East war, had hinted in recent days that Israel could not keep it all if it wanted to unblock peacemaking with Palestinians. Sharon also condemned an alternative, symbolic peace plan drafted by Israeli opposition left-wingers and senior Palestinian political figures known as the "Geneva Accords," due to be launched at a ceremony in Switzerland on Monday. "Only a government can conduct negotiations for a political solution and sign an agreement. (This Geneva) agreement does Israel damage, and it is a mistake," he said.

Sources: Reuters

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