Cabinet Weighs Measures to Meet Arab Opposition in Jerusalem, West Bank
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Cabinet Weighs Measures to Meet Arab Opposition in Jerusalem, West Bank

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A brief communique announcing that “political and security matters” had been discussed was issued here today following the third meeting of the Israel Cabinet in 24 hours. Despite the official reticence, it was understood that the Cabinet sessions had been devoted largely to conditions in the occupied areas including longterm planning as well as measures to counter rising opposition among the Arabs.

The arrest of four Arab notables in the Old City of Jerusalem last night was believed to be a direct consequence of the Cabinet discussions yesterday. The four, accused of subversive activities against the State of Israel, were arrested after midnight, given time to dress and pack belongings and taken into detention pending their assignment to lodgings in outlying villages under police supervision.

The identity of the four men was not disclosed but the West Bank military commander said they were not members of the Moslem clergy. They are believed to be the men who signed a petition calling on Israel to quit the Old City of Jerusalem and the West Bank territory.

It was learned today that five Arab professional unions–the doctors, pharmacists, dentists, lawyers and engineers–had sent a declaration to the Kadi, the Moslem religious leader in the Old City, approving his opposition to the Israelis on the reunification of Jerusalem and his demand that the Old City remain an integral part of the West Bank.


Prime Minister Levi Eshkol made note last night of the mounting Arab opposition and warned Arabs in the occupied areas not to interfere with the normal life of the areas and not to compel Israel “to show its strength.”

Mr. Eshkol said Israel will remain in the occupied Jordanian, Syrian and Egyptian areas until peace agreements are signed with the Arab states, and will keep in those areas all the troops needed to maintain order.

The Premier’s statement was made on the Israeli radio during a program given over to inquiries telephoned by listeners. Mr. Eshkol was also asked about the situation of the Arab refugees. He replied that Israel could not solve the refugee problem unilaterally but would contribute know-how, planning and “even money,” once an international solution of the problem was achieved. The solution of the refugee problem, however, he declared, must be regional and with the help of financing by the international community.

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