From the Herald Tribune: President Bush, in a significant shift in American policy, told Prime Minister Ariel Sharon today that the United States would not object if Israel retained some West Bank settlements under a future peace accord. Mr. Bush, appearing with Mr. Sharon after a White House meeting, called the prime minister's proposals to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank "historic" and courageous, and said Mr. Sharon had created "an opportunity" that would help accelerate moves toward the creation of a Palestinian state. The president also offered a second concession sought by Israel. He said that in future, Palestinian refugees should immigrate to a new Palestinian state, not to Israeli lands they say their families were forced to flee in the fighting of 1947-1948.


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