Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon promised on 20 October that the government would speed construction of the controversial 'security fence', which is being built along the 1967 border and through parts of the West Bank. Speaking at the opening of the winter session of the Israeli Knesset (parliament), Sharon added that the wall would be finished within a year. During his opening speech, Sharon also criticised the new 'Geneva accord', which was drafted in secret with the assistance of Switzerland, saying that it detracted from the internationally ratified 'roadmap' sponsored by the UN, EU Russia and US. 'Our plan represents the only hope of achieving a real breakthrough on the way to peace with the Palestinians,' he said. 'Only a complete denouncement of terror can lead to a new age of peace for the peoples of the region.'
The roadmap calls for a 'settlement, negotiated between the parties, which will result in the emergence of an independent Palestinian state (MEED 15:10:03).