- WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Israeli
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Tuesday told President Bush Israel would press
ahead with a West Bank security fence the U.S. leader has called a problem
for Middle East peace.
- "The security fence will continue to be built with
every effort to minimize the infringement on the daily life of the Palestinian
population," Sharon told a joint news conference after meeting Bush.
- Bush, calling on Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas
to dismantle militant groups as mandated by a U.S.-backed peace plan, said
he hoped that in the long-run the success of peacemaking would make such
a barrier unnecessary.
- Sharon said he explained to Bush "the importance
of the fence as an element that will bring security" to Israel and
subsequently help build peace.
- Palestinians have condemned the project as a land grab
aimed at predetermining the borders of a state they hope to establish.
- Israel has said the barrier -- a concrete wall in some
places and an electronic wire fence in others -- is necessary to stop Palestinian
suicide bombers reaching its cities.
- Bush said he and Sharon would continue to discuss the
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