Israel seeks US support for fence

22 September 2003
A delegation of senior Israelis has arrived in Washington to seek support for the so called 'security fence', which separates Israel and the West Bank. The group, led by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's top aide, Dov Weisglass, is due to meet senior US officials, including National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice.

Israel has faced mounting pressure from the international community over its continued building of the wall. The US administration has, on more than one occasion, voiced concern over the barrier, and has threatened to impose economic sanctions on its ally. Israel, however, remains adamant that the fence will improve safety in the country. 'The fence is a security issue of the utmost importance, on which Israeli lives depend,' said Israeli Housing Minister Effi Eitam. 'Therefore, the fence must be built here even if the Americans do not approve its entire route.'

UN special envoy to the Middle East, Terje Roed-Larsen, criticised the wall on 15 September saying that Israel had the right to carry out any security measure it wanted on its own land, but not on other people's land.

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