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Israel wants to annex 4th West Bank settlement bloc: Radio

Published on Jan 19, 2014 8:46 PM

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told United States Secretary of State John Kerry that he wants to annex a fourth bloc of West Bank settlements, army radio reported on Sunday.

Until now, Israel has always spoken of its intention to annex three blocs of settlements in any future agreement with the Palestinians: the Etzion bloc in the south; Maaleh Adumim to the east of Jerusalem; and the Ariel bloc in the north.

The report said Mr Netanyahu was proposing that Israel also keep hold of a group of settlements deep in the West Bank - Beit El, Ofra and Psagot - which lie to the north and east of Ramallah, the radio said.

A settlement bloc is an area where clusters of settlements have been established in relatively close proximity to one another, in which the majority of the West Bank's 367,000 settlers currently live.

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