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Israel's Deputy PM: West Bank Outposts Should be Dismantled


Israel's deputy prime minister says the Jewish state's delay in dismantling unauthorized settlement outposts in the West Bank is hurting its relations with the United States.

Haim Ramon told Israel Radio Saturday Israel is not meeting its commitments under the internationally sponsored Middle East "road map" to peace.

He said Israel must make a decision on the outposts in one or two weeks.

The top Palestinian negotiator, Ahmed Qorei, called today for greater U.S. pressure on Israel to dismantle the outposts.

The "road map" to Middle East peace calls for Israel to remove settlement outposts and freeze all settlement activity. It also requires the Palestinians to disarm militants.

In violence Saturday, Palestinian medical officials say Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip have killed three militants and wounded at least three others.

They say the dead and wounded were all members of Islamic Jihad.

The Israeli military confirmed the airstrikes and said the militants were firing rockets into Israel. The military said some of the rockets landed in the Jewish state but caused no casualties.

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said neither Israel nor the Palestinians have met their obligations under the the "road map."

She spoke after peace talks resumed in Jerusalem between Israel and the Palestinians, with a U.S. envoy, General William Fraser, leading the meeting.

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

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