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News In Brief

Israel rapped by minister on halt in West Bank push

Ariel Sharon, Israel's controversial minister without portfolio, accused the government Sunday of yielding to US pressure by unofficially halting its settlement building program in occupied Arab areas.

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Addressing a meeting of settlers in the occupied West Bank, Mr. Sharon said Israel should settle every part of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

Sharon has increased attacks on the government since saying he would compete with Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to head their Herut (Freedom) Party and to serve as the next prime minister when election campaigns are launched next year.