President Bush's rebuke flies in the face of the commitment he made to Sharon last year that Israel would keep some settlement blocs under any final peace deal with the Palestinians. Sharon has sold the Gaza pullout to the Israel public on the basis of that commitment, saying Israel was trading overpopulated and violent Gaza for the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria. Sharon's hawkish opponents say the Gaza pullout will only bring more US pressure for Israeli concessions in Judea and Samaria.
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