Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Naveh of the Israel Defense Forces announced, Friday, that building of the security fence in the Gush Etzion Bloc of Judean Jewish communities has been suspended until further notice. The decision followed months of strenuous efforts against the barrier by the Gush Etzion Regional Council, which claimed environmental objections to the revised route of the fence. The council also claimed the new route was irrelevant to the security situation.
Council Chairman Davidi Perl welcomed the decision. He continued, "I believe that we can maintain our good relationship with our Arab neighbors. It is our duty to keep a complete and unified bloc, which protects the security of the State of Israel in general and the strength of the settlement enterprise in particular."