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Israel to Dismantle 25 Gaza, West Bank Settlements

The Israeli cabinet approves the dismantling of 21 Jewish settlements in Gaza and four in the West Bank. Supporters of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon hailed the vote as historic, saying it is the first time Israel has approved the evacuation of settlers from land claimed by Palestinians for their own state. Sharon has said the Gaza pullout will begin in July and take 12 weeks.

The move comes as Israel continues construction of its security barrier, which passes through the West Bank.

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