The Defense Ministry says the security barrier under construction in Judea and Samaria will not be completed until mid 2006, a year behind schedule. Work was slowed because of Palestinian petitions to the Israeli Supreme Court, and only one third of the fence has been completed. Next week, the Cabinet will approve one of the most controversial sections of the barrier--two big settlement blocs near Jerusalem, Ma’ale Adumim and Gush Etzion, will be included within the fence. This is in keeping with Sharon’s policy that major settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria will remain a part of Israel. The Palestinians say it's de-facto annexation.
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