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NEW YORK - Only a few hours before the UN General assembly was to vote last night on a resolution concerning the International Court of Justice's ruling against the separation fence, European Union countries were divided over an amended draft resolution that was making the rounds.

The new draft is a softened version of the original draft proposed by the PLO's legation, and included operative elements that the EU countries all opposed.

But a few hours before the assembly vote, slated for after midnight Israel time last night, it emerged that France and Sweden were prepared to back an amended draft that did not include operative elements but was very harsh in its condemnation of Israel, while Britain and Italy were rejecting that amended version and are demanding more changes and corrections. Denmark, Hungary and the Czech Republic apparently are following the British and Italians. EU countries traditionally try to vote uniformly in such votes, but if no consensus is reached they could with a rare split among their votes.