Israel Will Set West Bank Borders If Negotiations With Palestinians Fail

Israel will determine its border with the West Bank in the absence of negotiations with the Palestinians, and then build a wall and move all settlers to the Israeli side, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in an interview published Friday.

On Thursday Olmert said Israel will draw its final borders by 2010, for the first time setting a deadline for what is expected to be a unilateral large-scale West Bank pullback.

Olmert, in comments carried by the Yediot Ahronot daily Friday, also threatened to assassinate incoming Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas if he is involved in terrorism — a threat made Tuesday by Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz.

He said that if the Palestinians resume attacks against Israelis, then Israel will change the path of its separation barrier in the West Bank according to national consensus.

Olmert, facing elections on March 28, said the current barrier, still under construction after more than three years, is a "security fence."

The new one would be Israel's border with the West Bank, he said. He told the paper that he would enter into dialogue with settler leaders to try to get them to agree to the new line, moving settlers from outlying areas into settlement blocs he plans to incorporate into Israel.