01-25-2006, 04:28 PM
In his first policy speech, interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated on Tuesday that Israel will have to withdraw from further parts of the West Bank.
"In order to ensure the existence of a Jewish national home, we will not be able to continue ruling over the territories in which the majority of the Palestinian population lives," he said on Tuesday during a conference at Herzliya.
"The most dramatic and important step we face is shaping the permanent borders of the state of Israel," Olmert, also acting as chair of Kadima, a party formed by Prime Minister ARIEL SHARON shortly before he suffered a stroke and went into a coma, added.
"We would prefer an agreement. If our expected partners in the negotiations in the framework of the road map do not uphold their commitments, we will preserve the Israeli interest at all costs," Olmert said.
"The choice between allowing Jews to live in all parts of the land of Israel and living in a state with a Jewish majority mandates giving up parts of the Land of Israel," he further stated.
However, the acting Israeli Prime Minister noted that Israel would keep security zones, the main settlement blocs, and places important to the Jewish people, such as Jerusalem, BBC reported.
"There can be no Jewish state without Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty," he said, urging the full implementation of the so-called "ROAD MAP" peace plan.
>> Gravity of Sharon’s health problems concealed
Prime Minster ARIEL SHARON’s doctors concealed the gravity of his health condition from the public after he suffered a minor stroke in December, an Israeli newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Haaretz said that after SHARON’s first stroke, less than three weeks before he succumbed to a massive brain haemorrhage, he had cardiac and cerebral diseases that were not revealed by his doctors.
The 77-year-old leader, who has been replaced by Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert since his collapse on January 4, is still lying in a coma for the 20th day Tuesday in Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital.
At the time of his mild stroke, doctors said they found a small hole in SHARON’s heart that he had since birth. The defect was to have been repaired the day after the prime minister suffered his massive stroke.
But Haaretz said its inquiries found that SHARON also suffered from more serious, life-threatening heart problems, including a large aneurysm in the septum, which is a known source of cerebral blood clots that caused the prime minister’s fist stroke.
SHARON also suffered from other conditions in the cardiac septum that made him vulnerable to blood clots potentially entering his brain, the newspaper said.
Hadassah Hospital spokeswoman Yael Bossem-Levy dismissed the Haaretz report, saying that it doesn’t contain anything new.
"Everything that appears in the item was discussed at the news conference" where the hole in the septum was disclosed, she claimed.
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