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      PM Tours Partition Route: "We Won´t Abandon You"

      Ariel Sharon, touring the route of the anti-terror partition being built between Judea/Samaria and the rest of Israel, rebuffed complaints that it is too close to Jewish houses.
      By Hillel Fendel
      First Publish: 11/9/2005, 3:10 PM / Last Update: 11/9/2005, 10:19 AM

      Prime Minister Sharon took a guided tour yesterday of the partition - a tall concrete wall in many places, but a chain-link fence in most others - beginning in Beit Aryeh, on the western border of the Shomron and 15 kilometers east of Ben Gurion International Airport. He then continued southward to Modiin, and from there further south-east to Ramot and Mevaseret Zion.

      Near the northwestern Jerusalem suburb of Ramot, where parts of the wall are not yet built, it was revealed that a dispute between the General Security Service (Shabak) and the Defense Ministry is holding things up. The Shabak says that the Arab village of Beit Iksa, with some 10,000 residents, must not be included on the Israeli side of the fence, presumably because of the village's preponderance of terrorists and sympathizers. The Defense Ministry, on the other hand, fearing Supreme Court suits and intervention, is in favor of including Beit Iksa within the route.

      During Sharon's tour, in which IDF and police officers took part, Partition Administration head Danny Tirzah told Sharon that the dispute is holding up wall construction around northwestern Jerusalem. However, he said, the understanding at present is that the hostile village should remain on the Israeli side of the wall.

      Sharon rebuffed complaints by local Jewish municipal leaders from Mevaseret Zion and Har Adar who said that the partition is dangerously close to their schools and public buildings.

      "I am not bothered by a distance of 300 meters [as the leaders said] or 600 meters from the fence," Sharon said breezily. "Israel has no intention of putting itself at the mercies of the Palestinian population, and it will be the measures that we will take which will enable the Israelis to live here. I do not suggest changing the route of the partition again just because of the danger of infiltration."

      Col. (ret.) Moshe Leshem, head of the Gamla Shall Not Fall Again organization, continues to be infuriated by the fence. "That which I wrote 4-5 years ago is still true today," he told Arutz-7 today. "The partition is merely political, and is a dangerous illusion that has nothing to do with security. Whoever wants to infiltrate can simply take a pair of scissors and cut his way through; most of the partition is not made up of concrete walls [except around Jerusalem - ed.]"

      "The political ramifications are clear," Leshem said. "The fence demarcates the borders back to what they were before the 1967 Six Day War, more or less, with the help of the Supreme Court, which keeps moving it back closer to the 1967 border. Those on the extreme left are of course happy about this, but there are those on the right who, either out of foolishness or laziness to face the facts, who are ignoring the fact that this fence/wall will end up being the future border of Israel."