May 08, 2006

Ehud Olmert


From AP: Olmert Moves Into Prime Minister's Offec.

Ehud Olmert moved into the prime minister's office Sunday, vowing to redefine Israel's borders while cracking down on wildcat settlement activity.

During his five-month caretaker government, Olmert had refused to take over the office he inherited from Ariel Sharon after his devastating Jan. 4 stroke. He also refrained from sitting in the prime minister's brown leather seat during Cabinet meetings.

Now, nearly six weeks after voters swept his Kadima Party into power in March 28 elections, Israel's new prime minister has occupied his official residence, declaring that reconfiguring Israel's borders would be his government's key mission.

"In the next few years, we will change Israel's character to ensure it will be a state with a solid Jewish majority living in defensible borders that can provide security to the residents of Israel and separate us from those who must live alongside us and not among us," he said.

Olmert has gone further than any other Israeli leader in spelling out his plans for Israel's future borders with the Palestinians.

He intends to uproot Jewish settlers from heavily populated Palestinian areas, while fortifying major settlement blocs. He also says he'll try to reach a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians but would act unilaterally if their militant Hamas government doesn't renounce violence and recognize the Jewish state.

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Posted by Forkum at May 8, 2006 10:38 PM