Sharon 'eyeing final borders'; Netanyahu: he's a dictator

By Haaretz Service and Associated Press

Ariel Sharon wants to draw Israel's borders in talks with the Palestinians, Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel's vice premier said Tuesday, adding that he had just met with a very senior Palestinian officials in hopes of creating "momentum, a better understanding."

Benjamin Netanyahu, the favorite among six candidates to succeed Sharon at the helm of the Likud, Tuesday branded the prime minister as a "dictator" who was leading Israel into tyranny and was endangering its security.

"Why's it important if the dictator has this kind of smile or that kind of sense of humor if he'd bringing you to tyranny and he's bringing you to corruption and he's endangering your security?" Netanyahu said.

Olmert, who has often enunciated Sharon policies in advance of their formal adoption, spoke a day after Sharon quit his Likud Party and formed a centrist political movement.

Sharon has said the new party would follow the U.S.-backed road map peace plan, which envisions a Palestinian state as a result of peace talks, and a final stage in which some settlements would be dismantled and Israeli-Palestinian borders set.

Sharon has ruled out additional unilateral Israeli pullbacks, following the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in the summer. Olmert told Army Radio on Tuesday that "we want to continue a policy that will bring about the permanent borders of Israel."

"We are talking about the desire to define the permanent borders of Israel in the framework of an agreement that is based on the ... road map, that defines the phases of the agreement, first to stop terror and afterward the negotiations," Olmert said.

"I just finished an hour-and-a-half meeting with a very senior Palestinian personality, one of the most mprotant persons in the Palestinian Authority," Olmert said, but did not give the official's name. "We are making efforts to create momentum, to create a better
understanding to persuade them (the Palestinians) to fight terror."

[B}Netanyahu: My policies saved the economy[/B]
According to Netanyahu, Sharon and his family were responsible for the corruption that has dogged the Likud in recent years.

Netanyahu hinted in an Army Radio interview that Sharon had not told the truth when the prime minister declared that the decision to leave the party was made late on Sunday.

Netanyahu indicated that the decision had been made months before, behind the backs of party members.

The former finance minister turned aside suggestions that his tough economic measures would come back to hurt him politically among the Likud's traditionally blue-collar power base.

Netanyahub said his economic policies had saved Israel's economy, and had stopped the spread of poverty in the country.