JERUSALEM (Jun. 8)
The Israel Government named today military governors for the west bank section of Jordan and for the Gaza Strip and Northern Sinai as a first step toward restoring normal conditions in the newly conquered areas. Brig. Chaim Herzog was named governor for the west bank, which included command of Old Jerusalem, and Brig. Moshe Goren. former military attache in London, was named military governor for Gaza -Sinai.
The Jordanian area was immediately divided into districts and sub-districts with offices to look after the civilian population. It was even necessary to establish a police force because all Jordanian police officers in the area had fled after Israel drove the Jordanian armed forces from the territory. Brig. Herzog declared in a radio statement that all precautionary measures had been taken to ensure normal activities for all religions in the conquered area which includes shrines and sacred places holy to Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
Because the Wailing Wall in Old Jerusalem was rapidly becoming a major point of interest for visiting Jewish leaders, and because many Israeli Jews wanted to visit it, Brig. Herzog said work was already underway to clear the area of mines and debris from the fierce fighting, and that as soon as he was satisfied the approaches were safe, mass visits to the Wailing Wall would be permitted.
Among the dignitaries who came to Judaism’s most sacred shrine today were President Shazar, who recited chapters from the Psalms. Later former Premier David Ben-Gurion, accompanied by Jerusalem Mayor Theodore Kollek and former Defense Minister Shimon Peres also visited the shrine. Mr. Ben-Gurion said this was his “second happiest day” since he arrived in Israel, the first being when Israel was established.
Israeli Jews may soon have more noted shrines to visit, including Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem and the historic burial cave at Hebron. Rabbi Shlomo Goren, the army chief chaplain, holding the Torah Scroll he used yesterday in leading services for Israeli troops at the Wailing Wall, proceeded to Rachel’s Tomb, where he prayed, and then to Hebron, where he became the first Jew to enter the cave proper. Even before the 1948 War of Liberation, the Arabs barred Jews from entering the cave where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are buried. Now it is open to Jews again.