JERUSALEM (Sep. 25)
The reconstitution of four settlements in the so-called Etzion Bloc on the west bank of the Jordan River, established there before the war of 1948 and now again in Israel’s hands, will be entrusted to Nahal, the Cabinet here has decided. Nahal is a paramilitary, pioneering youth farming group concentrating its efforts in border settlements. A spokesman for the Government said the Nahal role in the Etzion bloc will be instituted “soon.” The land which the four settlements occupied belongs to the Jewish National Fund.
The Cabinet decided also to defer for a month action on proposals to resettle Beit Haarava, at the northern end of the Dead Sea. Prior to Israel’s rebirth in 1948, that settlement found it difficult to raise crops because the soil has a very high salt content, and had to be washed or “leached” before it could be cultivated.