JERUSALEM — Israeli defense officials, apparently bowing to U.S. demands, said Sunday that they had revised the planned course of a West Bank security barrier so that it would leave out a major Jewish settlement.
The new blueprint, presented by Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz to U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer last week, would exclude the settlement of Ariel, about 12 miles inside the West Bank, a defense official said.
The United States has expressed concern at Israel's plan to make the barrier enclose Jewish settlements deep in the West Bank. Most of the barrier consists of a metal fence equipped with electronic sensors and tipped by razor wire; other sections are concrete walls.
Israel says the fence is intended to keep out Palestinian suicide bombers; Palestinians say it is an attempt by Israel to expand its political boundaries by cordoning off large expanses of the West Bank.