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Tuesday, May 21, 2002

settling out

"BEER SHEVA, Israel There is nothing that causes as much heated debate in Israel as the future of the settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. It is now clear to most Israelis that if there is ever going to be a final political agreement with the Palestinians, it will require that some, if not necessarily all, of the settlements be dislodged and evacuated. A permanent plan would have to create a Palestinian state that is compact and continuous unlike the disconnected wedges and enclaves of Palestinian autonomy areas that were created by the Oslo accord and that have left the settlements in place. Although this reality is undeniable, the practicality of settlement removal has largely been avoided by all Israeli governments, including those of the left, even as that avoidance makes the eventual uprooting of the growing settler population more difficult."