With the new Israeli government set to take office today, Palestinian Premier Ismail Haniyeh already rejected Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s plan to define Israel’s borders unilaterally if the peace process fails. Olmert’s coalition is to include 67 of the 120 Knesset (parliament) members, who are to be sworn in later on Thursday. The coalition includes the leftist Labor party, the Pensioner’s party, and the ultra-Orthodox Shas party. Olmert’s West Bank border plan is to include a security barrier along Judea and Samaria and involved includes relocating Jewish settlers who would be behind the barrier. The prime minister hopes to complete the process in four years with or without peace talks. Hamas officials said they would consider the 2002 Arab peace plan, which calls for recognition of Israel and a return to pre-1967 borders, but only if Israel accepts the proposal first.
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