Bush demands a halt to settlement expansion

Friday, May 27, 2005 | 
While praising Abbas, Bush slammed Israel’s settlement policy. "Israel must remove unauthorized outposts and stop settlement expansion," he said. "Israel should not undertake any activity that contravenes ‘roadmap’ obligations or prejudice final status negotiations with regard to Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem." But Israel brushed off the criticism, saying it will continue expanding three major settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria. “In any final status agreement, Israel will remain in control of the large settlement blocs,” said Israeli spokesman Mark Regev. Bush has publicly endorsed that view, so Israel sees a contradiction in the President's call for a settlement freeze.

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