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Olmert to seek West Bank withdrawals -media

Written by: Staff
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JERUSALEM, Mar 5 (Reuters) Interim Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert plans a unilateral withdrawal from some settlements in the occupied West Bank if he wins this month's general election, Israeli media reported today.

The Haaretz daily reported that Olmert planned to seek the backing of the United States and other major powers for the proposed pullout, following Israel's withdrawal from the Gazav Strip last year. Other media carried similar reports. Olmert, the front-runner in Israel's March 28 general election, has said publicly in the past that Israel would have to give up part of the West Bank and quickly set a border with the Palestinians.

Israeli sources said the victory of the Islamic militant group Hamas in a Palestinian election was a further incentive to taking unilateral moves instead of negotiations.

Olmert has vowed not to negotiate with Hamas, whose charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.

REUTERS PG PC1221

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