Israel Cabinet Mulls Stronger Action to Halt Arab Dissensions on West Bank

Measures for stronger action to halt anti-Israel agitation among Arab residents of the West Bank of the Jordan, territory occupied by Israel during the recent Arab-Israel war, were discussed at a lengthy Cabinet meeting here today. The proposed actions would be directed against individuals charged with printing or distributing anti-Israeli leaflets and engaging in other forms of civil disobedience.

Some Israeli observers maintain, however, that, on the whole, instances of non-cooperation were not extensive and that opponents of the Israel occupation should not be treated too harshly.

Arab teachers who have been using textbooks containing hostile references to Israel were reported to have refused to substitute revised textbooks with the anti-Israeli material deleted. Another instance of Arab non-cooperation is that lawyers in the Old City of Jerusalem are reportedly considering refusing to appear in Israeli courts.

Nablus was closed to Israeli visitors yesterday because of an Arab demonstration demanding Israel’s withdrawal of military forces from occupied areas.

THREATENING LEAFLETS DISTRIBUTED BY ARABS IN JERUSALEM

In Jerusalem, Arabic leaflets, calling on Arabs to boycott Israelis in the Old City, were found again last night. The leaflets warned that “collaborators” would get their “just deserts” when the Arabs “re-conquered Palestine.”

At the same time four Old City Arabs were remanded for 10 days in Magistrate’s Court for distributing leaflets with a similar content. They were a doctor and his brother, a teacher, and two 22-year-old men. Informed sources said that, while the leaflets did not originate in Jordan, they did reflect West Bank “Palestinian nationalism” inspired by Nasser-directed propaganda. The doctor and the teacher had been jailed by King Hussein, before the June war, for nationalist activities.

Informed Israeli sources indicated that Israel may announce that it plans to remain in the West Bank area, in view of the intransigence of the Arab rulers about direct peace talks with Israel. Such announcement, it was said, together with long-term economic planning for the area which now has crash-program priority, would dispel any doubts the West Bank Arab residents might have about cooperating with Israeli authorities out of fear of retribution if the area were returned to Arab rule.

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