Israel to build controversial settlement outside Jerusalem, Olmert says

Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says the government he expects to head after March 28 elections will draw Israel's permanent borders within four years, and as part of that effort, will build a controversial settlement outside Jerusalem, said in an interview published Thursday.

Olmert told The Jerusalem Post daily that whin the next four years he intended to "get to Israel's permanent borders, whereby we will completely separate from the majority of the Palestinian population and preserve a large and stable Jewish majority in Israel."

Olmert's chief security adviser, Avi Dichter, had disclosed that four-year time frame earlier this week, but this was the first time that Olmert himself had publicly stated it.

Last year, Olmert confirmed that Israel had frozen its plans to build 3,650 housing units on land between Maaleh Adumim, Israel's largest West Bank settlement, and Jerusalem because of pressure from Washington, which sees the construction as an impediment to peacemaking efforts.

Palestinians say construction of the satellite settlement would cut off Jerusalem from the West Bank and kill Palestinian hopes to set up a capital there, reports the AP.


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