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The route of the separation fence east of Jerusalem will include a wide swath of territory extending to the Allon Road and cliffs of Wadi Kelt, according to a plan prepared by the defense establishment.

In addition to the West Bank city of Ma'aleh Adumim, the fence will encompass the Mishor Adumim industrial area, the Kfar Adumin settlement and Palestinian villages such as Hizmeh and Anata.

When the government approved the route of the separation fence on October 1, it did not include planning for the area east of Jerusalem. So far, fence construction has begun on the southern and northern outskirts of the capital.

The route of the fence planned to encircle northern Jerusalem has been revised several times. The latest plan calls for a "minimalist" route that leaves the village of A-Ram east of the fence.

According to the current plan, which may still be subject to revision, the fence will approach A-Ram, near the Atarot airport and Qalandiyah refugee camp. It will then turn east, encompassing the Geva Binyamin (Adam) settlement, and continue as far as the cliffs of Wadi Kelt and the Allon Road.

No fence will be necessary along the Wadi Kelt cliffs, which constitute a natural barrier.

At the Good Samaritan junction, the fence will turn southwest, circling around Ma'aleh Adumim and linking up with the existing fence to the north and east of Abu Dis and Azzariyeh. (Most of the residents of these two communities will not be included within the confines of the fence.)

The fence will be integrated into the E-1 plan approved by the Netanyahu government toward the end of its term in 1999. The E-1 plan greatly expanded the territorial jurisdiction of Ma'aleh Adumim. Though there are relatively few Palestinians living in this area - with the exception of the Jahalin Bedouin tribes near Ma'aleh Adumim - it is a large expanse similar in size to the "finger" planned in the Ariel region, further north in the West Bank.

U.S. opposition likely

If the current plan for the Jerusalem fence is approved by the government, it would likely face opposition from the U.S. administration. There is also some disagreement among defense officials. Some Israel Defense Forces officers argue there is no justification for including so much territory west of the fence.

Police Commissioner Shlomo Aharonishki also favors a more modest fence route, while the commander of the Jerusalem police, Mickey Levy, would like to see the fence provide as wide a buffer as possible for the city.