Carmel Tells Achdut Israel Must Hold West Bank, Gaza, Sharm-el-sheikh
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Carmel Tells Achdut Israel Must Hold West Bank, Gaza, Sharm-el-sheikh

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Minister of Transport Moshe Carmel told the executive of the Achdut Avodah Party today that while Israel must not waver in its determination to achieve peace, it must nevertheless prepare for continuation of the state of war and a resumption of hostilities in the future. The former brigadier general spoke at the opening session of the party’s policy-makers who will formulate its stand on the security situation and on merger with the Mapai Party of Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and with the dissident Israel Workers Party headed by former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan.

Mr. Carmel stressed his belief that Israel must have borders that will ensure its peace, security and development. He said the Israel border should be the Jordan River with military positions at strategic points and security settlements along the banks; there should be Israeli military positions in the Syrian heights which dominate Israel’s northernmost settlements; the Gaza Strip should be incorporated into Israel; the Sinai Peninsula should be cleared of enemy arms and emplacements, and the sea and airways, opened through the capture of Sharm-el-Sheikh, must never again be closed.

Both Mr. Carmel and Minister of Labor Yigal Allon, who spoke in Jerusalem tonight, advocated an immediate start by Israel on a model project for settlement of the Arab refugee problem without awaiting a peace settlement.

Both said establishment of two or three villages for Arab refugees of the 1948 War of Liberation could set an example for broader schemes. Both agreed that the refugee problem as a whole, however, could only be settled with the full cooperation of the Arab states and with international economic aid.

Gan. Dayan also discussed the security issue tonight in a speech to the executive of his Rafi Party. He warned that Israel had to stand firm against any pressures — economic or otherwise — and must not retreat. He said that Israel must continue to have a military hold on the west bank although there could be an agreement giving Jordan special status there. He said, however, that since King Hussein was unwilling to negotiate with Israel, Israel would have to continue to govern the area whether or not the population liked it.

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