A storm of criticism on right and left wings of Israeli politics greeted the statement attributed by pollster Kalman Gayer to prime minister Ariel Sharon in Newsweek. He was quoted as favoring a Palestinian state on 90pc of the West Bank and a compromise on Jerusalem. In the meantime, he would “lay the contours of an agreement with the Palestinians” by creating a Palestinian state on 50pc of the West Bank. Sharon’s office denied these statements. However, former Labor MK Haim Ramon who crossed the floor to Sharon’s new Kadima party spoke later in favor of partitioning Jerusalem by excluding Arab neighborhoods.