Israeli Delegation in the U.S. to
Discuss Security Fence Route


The chief of the Prime Minister’s bureau, Dov Weisglass, left for Washington on Saturday night at the head of a high-level delegation dispatched to present the United States with a revised route proposal for the separation fence, which now includes a "break" opposite Ariel, one of the largest West Bank Jewish cities, HA’ARETZ reported. Weisglass, who is accompanied by Defense Ministry Director General Amos Yaron, is meeting today with U.S. national security advisor Condoleezza Rice to discuss the new route. Israel will tell U.S. officials that the section of the fence between the towns of Elkana and Alei Zahav will not be built, leaving a "break" opposite Ariel. Instead, the area left open will be guarded by a bolstered IDF presence, as well as roadblocks and other barriers aimed at protecting the adjacent Jewish towns. "The fence is not going to stand in the way of the sustained, long-standing relations between Israel and the US," a diplomatic official said. "A solution will be found without compromising the security of the citizens of Israel."

Weisglass and Rice will also discuss the new Palestinian leadership. In advance of the meeting, Israel announced that it had granted entry permits to some 11,000 Palestinian laborers and merchants who wished to do business in Israel.

In addition, Minister of Foreign Affairs Silvan Shalom, who arrived in New York on Sunday for the opening of the 58th session of the UN General Assembly, will hold talks on the issue of the security fence with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.