agasfer (agasfer) wrote,

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JERUSALEM -- The population in the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has grown by about 16 percent during the almost three years of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's tenure, according to Interior Ministry statistics.

The statistics show the population is 236,381, up from 203,067 at the end of 2000, three months before Sharon took office.

Sharon has traditionally been a champion of settlements established in the areas Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war. But in June, he committed to implementing the U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan, which calls for a freeze in settlement activity.

The road map also calls on the Palestinians to dismantle armed groups -- a move they have failed to take.

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