Israel to evacuate 2 settler outposts

16 01 2008

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli forces were on their way Wednesday to evacuate two settler outposts in the West Bank, officials said, amid U.S. insistence such encampments be dismantled to pave the way for a peace deal with the Palestinians.

The outposts consist mostly of tents and have no permanent structures, Israeli defense officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press. At least one of them, Shvut Ami, has been evacuated several times in the past.

As part of the renewal of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, President Bush pressed Israel last week to evacuate dozens of outposts.Israel promised under a 2003 peace plan to evacuate about two dozen of the more than 100 outposts that settlers set up on disputed land to prevent its transfer to Palestinians in a future agreement.

Since approving the deal, Israel has done little to dismantle the outposts. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said earlier this week that the outposts were a “disgrace,” but officials said it was not clear if any of the bigger outposts with permanent structures would be evacuated soon.



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