No Decision Taken on West Bank Settlement, Israel Tells United States

The Israel Government officially informed the United States today that it had not taken any general decision on establishing settlements in the occupied west bank areas. The statement was made to William Dale. American charge d’affaires, when he called at the Foreign Ministry in accordance with instructions from Washington to obtain a clarification of Israel’s position.

The envoy was told that Kfar Etzion, between Hebron and Bethlehem, which Israeli units reoccupied and resettled yesterday, was a stronghold and that the settlers belonged to pioneering youth groups which were part of the Israeli Army.

Israeli newspapers today were jubilant over the resettlement of Etzion, which had been a bloc of four Jewish settlements until they were overrun and destroyed by the Jordanians in the 1948 war. The independent daily, Haaretz, said editorially that "it is our good right to return there." The religious-oriented Hatzofe declared that "it must be clearly explained to all that this is a return of plundered property to its owners."

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