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Israel to Consider Delaying Gaza Withdrawal

Ariel Sharon
Israeli cabinet ministers are expected to consider Tuesday whether to delay Israel's planned pullout from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements.

An Israeli cabinet member had suggested postponing the withdrawal for three weeks, from late July to mid-August, to avoid conflict with an annual Jewish mourning period.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who in the past had refused calls to postpone the pullout, said Monday he might support the delay.

Meanwhile, Israel is calling for bids to build 50 new homes in a West Bank settlement, despite repeated U.S. demands that it halt such construction. The White House says it continues to oppose Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank and will ask Israel for clarification of the new building plans.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.