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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Government may abandon Jewish towns in Samaria

Haaretz is reporting this morning that the government is considering abandoning the 'bulges' in the 'security fence' that would have taken in Ariel, Kedumim, Alfei Menashe, Beit Aryeh, Ofarim, Karnei Shomron and Immanuel within the 'security fence' leaving those towns on the wrong side of the fence.
Officials currently re-evaluating the "bulge" proposal are considering an alternative plan, which proposes to seal the fence near the settlements of Elkana and Beit Aryeh. The proposal includes the construction of a new parameter fence around the settlements, which would be left on the Palestinian side of the fence.

The proposed salients or bulges, meant to keep Ariel and the other settlements within the Israeli side of the fence, constitute a substantial deviation from the proposed course of the fence that was first approved by the cabinet in 2003. The course, later revised according to a High Court of Justice ruling, originally ran along the Green Line.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has of late approved additional changes to the course of the fence, adding two salients to the Israeli side of the divide: one from Beit Aryeh to Ariel, and another from Alfei Menashe to Kedumin. The fence, however, has not been completed and the 6-kilometer stretch running along the two proposed bulges remains open, making it harder for security forces to seal the area.

In an effort to solve the problem, Defense Minister Amir Peretz's aide for diplomatic affairs, Hagai Alon, contacted Colonel (res.) Shaul Arieli and requested him to compile an alternative course for the fence.

In his proposal, submitted late last month, Arieli states that the American Administration opposes the current route of the fence, which the cabinet approved last year, because it violates the territorial contiguity of the future Palestinian state. He added that future petitions against the current route of the fence would be hard to dismiss, given the humanitarian problems it poses. Arieli did add that the High Court of Justice recognized the security needs dependent on the construction of the fence, as long as it ran along the Green Line.

In addition, Arieli's proposal states that any significant renewal of the dialogue with the Palestinians would require in-depth discussions on the need to minimize the disruption to the lives of Palestinians residing along the fence's proposed path.

In addition to sealing the gap between Ofarim and Elkana, Arieli proposes to form three "special security areas": the first around Ariel, a second around Immanuel and Karmei Shomron and the third near Beit Aryeh and Ofarim. According to Arieli, this would seal the problematic gap while maintaining the security needs of the settlers in case of a future conflagration of hostilities in the West Bank.

The proposal includes an attractive financial incentive for the government, since the cost of the bulges in the fence is estimated at some NIS 2 billion.
How much are the Jews of Ofarim, Elkana, Karnei Shomron and Beit Aryeh worth? Apparently not as much as NIS 2 billion to this government.


At 3:32 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Haven't they already tried abandoning towns? And didn't it ... not work out so well?

I don't remember the exact source, but I once heard "insanity" defined as repeating the same action over and over, and expecting different results each time.

Round and round she goes...

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

The source of that comment is Albert Einstein.


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