Israel's Sharon Faces Challenge in Selling Peace Plan

Jerusalem-AP -- A US-backed Middle East peace plan could face more setbacks, even if the Israeli Cabinet approves it.

Israeli media reports most of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Cabinet is expected to support the plan, even though some senior politicians have said they oppose it.

Palestinians approved the plan a month ago.

But two far-right factions in Sharon's coalition government could bolt in protest, weakening the prime minister.

The "road map" to peace includes establishing a Palestinian state by 2005. It requires uprooting many small Jewish settlement outposts and implies more settlements will have to be removed as part of the peace deal.

Fighting may continue too, if Islamic militants step up attacks and provoke harsh Israeli reprisals.

Sharon is expected to ask his 23-member Cabinet tomorrow to back the plan.

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