An Israeli government official said Saturday that while the Americans asked the Israeli delegation visiting Washington many questions, they did not express any concerns or opposition to the West Bank Separation wall new route. ‘We are concluding by this that we can proceed,’ the source added.
As well, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s bureau chief told the American officials that Sharon will opt for early elections if he fails to win a majority in support of his disengagement plan in both the cabinet and the Knesset.
Weisglass and his team met with senior Bush administration officials in Washington last week and discussed possible developments in Israel as the date for implementing the disengagement plan draws closer.
American Administration officials were presented with a timetable for passing the necessary legislation for the implementation of the disengagement plan, including laws that would provide compensation for the settlers.
The focus of the Israeli team meetings with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was the new proposed route of the West Bank separation wall.
A government official source affirmed that Americans raised no concerns or objections to the barrier new route, saying that it was possible to go ahead with the construction of the wall.
Yet, another source in Jerusalem said the Americans are giving top priority to the matter of the wall and are likely to present certain objections, but might support Sharon in other issues in exchange.
According to the Israeli sources, the Americans were told that the settlement blocks of Ariel, Gush Etzion and Ma’aleh Adumim will be on the ‘west’ of the fence.
Weisglass said the Israeli intention is to leave as few Palestinian residents as possible on the west side of the wall.
The American officials also raised the issue of Israel ‘s promises to evacuate unauthorized settlers’ outposts and the ongoing construction in the West Bank settlements.
On ground, Israel did not wait the American approval and speeded up the construction of the wall north of Jerusalem and in the Hebron area.
Construction in Al-ram neighborhood, north of Jerusalem is almost completed, and in Hebron area work is ongoing near the villages of Beit Awa and Deir samet.
Seeking American approval to the wall route is seen necessary for an American active effort to block any attempt to call for applying sanctions against Israel following the International Court of Justice call for Israel to dismantle the Ã¢â‚¬Å“illegallyÃ¢â‚¬Â built barrier.