September 5, 2005

Sharon’s office denies settlement expansion report

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office
denied on Monday reports that Israel is to build 3,000 homes
for settlers in the major West Bank settlement of Ariel.

"The Prime Minister's Office and the Defense Ministry have
no knowledge whatsoever of an alleged approval to build 3,000
dwelling units in Ariel and we really don't know where this
number comes from," a Sharon spokesman said, reading from a

Israel Radio and the YNet and Walla Web sites had reported
that Deputy Defense Minister Zeev Boim, on a visit to Ariel,
had announced that Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz had approved
the construction of 3,000 housing units in the settlement.