The Palestinians have sharply criticized President Bush for comments at his summit meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Monday, in which he said that that some Israeli settlement blocs will remain a part of Israel in any final peace agreement. “As I said last April, new realities on the ground make it unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949,” Bush said. “Those changes on the ground, including existing major Israeli population centers, must be taken into account in any final status negotiations.” Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia said Bush’s remarks “do not serve the peace process or lead to a just solution.” The Palestinians want all settlements to be removed which would mean displacing more than 200,000 Israelis. The Bush administration believes that's not realistic.
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