Israeli defense chief proposes West Bank pullout - Yahoo! News JERUSALEM (AP) Israel's defense minister on Monday called for a broad unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank if talks with the Palestinians remain stalled, saying in published comments that "practical steps" are needed to breathe life into the stalemated peace process. The proposal drew attention to the dire state of affairs with the Palestinians, which has been overshadowed by Israel's focus on the Iranian nuclear program. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, convinced that Tehran is pursuing nuclear weapons, says the Islamic Republic must be stopped and has devoted his 3 1/2 year term to rallying international support against the Iranians. At the same time, he has largely ignored the Palestinian issue. In an interview with the Israel Hayom daily, Defense Minister Ehud Barak implied that the deadlock with the Palestinians cannot be sustained indefinitely. "It's better to reach an agreement with the Palestinians, but if that doesn't happen, we must take practical steps to start a separation," he said. "It will help us not only in dealing with the Palestinians, but also with other countries in the region, with the Europeans, and with the American administration and of course (will help) us."