Olmert: Israel Must Leave West Bank

Nation must relinquish land for lasting peace, says exiting PM
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2008 7:55 PM CDT
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.   (AP Photo/Uriel Sinai, Pool)
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(Newser) – Israel must give up nearly all the land it seized in 1967 to forge peace with the Palestinians, said outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The nation must relinquish most of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights—or compensate the Palestinians and Syrians with Israeli territory, said Olmert, who announced his resignation last week. "In the end, we will have to withdraw from the most decisive areas," he said

His remarks sparked fury from both the left and right in Israel, reports Ha'aretz. Olmert's failure to recognize the difference between "rockets fired from afar and the enemy sitting on top of Jerusalem reveals how little he understands the basis of security," said one critic. Olmert conceded a peace deal with Syria "comes with danger," adding: "Those who want to act with zero danger should move to Switzerland."