Sharon has a Plan B for peace (GUARDIAN UK) Conal Urquhart in Jerusalem, ISRAEL 12/10/03)
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Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, said yesterday that he was
working on a "complex, difficult and controversial" peace plan that
he would activate if the US-sponsored "road map" fails.
He told a select committee of the Israeli parliament that he would
take other unilateral measures to improve Israel´s
security. "Communities may be moved to improve our security
situation," he said.
The comments were the latest in a series that seem to promise that
the government will evacuate some settlements in the West Bank, and
or Gaza, though Mr Sharon has refused to elaborate.
Last week, his deputy, Ehud Olmert, said he favoured withdrawing from
Gaza and the majority of the West Bank to preserve a future Jewish
majority in the land controlled by Israel, a departure from Likud´s
Political commentators saw the statements as a trial balloon for the
plans that Mr Sharon mentioned yesterday.
However there is much scepticism in Israel about Mr Sharon´s
pronouncements. In the last six months he has floated radical policy
shifts without making any effort to implement them.
The road map, which has been endorsed by President Bush, has been on
hold since an explosion of violence in August this year.
Palestinian factions meeting in Cairo this week have so far failed to
agree to a new ceasefire to allow political negotiations to resume.
(Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003 12/10/03)
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