JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (search) has voiced harsh criticism of the United Nations world court's finding that the Israeli West Bank separation barrier is illegal.
Speaking just after a bombing that killed one person and injured more than 20 others, Sharon called the ruling a "slap in the face" to Israel's fight against Palestinian militants.
Israel says the fences, walls and razor wire are needed to protect against Palestinian militant attacks. Palestinians say the barrier is meant as a land grab since it dips into the West Bank at several points.
Meantime, Sharon today fired a Cabinet minister who was taped discussing plans to frame a fellow minister. The firing isn't expected to affect Sharon's plans to withdraw from the Gaza Strip (search) next year.