Rice to Israel: Forget West Bank, focus energies elsewhere

Thursday, July 26, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday said that Israel should stop focusing so much energy on Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), which the world will ultimately not allow the Jewish state to continue to rule, and instead invest in the Galilee and Negev regions.

“I believe that Israel understands...that it has obligations that need to be met and need to be met now, because the future of Israel is not in the continued occupation of the West Bank,“ Rice said in an interview with US-sponsored Middle East television network Al Hurra. “The future of Israel is in building a strong Israeli state in places like the Negev and Galilee.”

Rice is scheduled to visit the Middle East next week as part of the Bush administration's ongoing effort to strong-arm Israel into resuming final status peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

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