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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cabinet Approves Jerusalem Barrier

JERUSALEM -- Israel's Cabinet approved final details of a barrier to surround Jerusalem, redrawing the disputed city's boundary and shifting its demographic balance in favor of Jews.

Officials acknowledged that the Sunday decision means about 55,000 Palestinian residents will be cut off from their city by the separation barrier, designed to stop suicide bombers, but promised to try to alleviate hardships.

The Jerusalem barrier, part of a complex of obstacles Israel is building along and in the West Bank, is under construction. On Sunday, the Cabinet ordered government offices to be ready with services for those affected by Sept. 1.

The barrier reshapes the boundaries of the disputed city and dramatically changes its demographics. It leaves four Arab neighborhoods with 55,000 residents on the West Bank side, while including the largest Jewish West Bank settlement, Maaleh Adumim, with close to 30,000 people, on the Jerusalem side.