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Dayan Proposes Creation of Single Economic Unit from Gaza to Jerusalem

Defense Minister Moshe Dayan proposed yesterday the creation of a single economic unit stretching from Gaza to Jerusalem and including Beersheba and the West Bank town of Hebron in which all inhabitants would share public services, utilities and water resources. Gen. Dayan spoke at a meeting of the Beersheba Labor Council. He said Israelis should not fear domination by Arabs in the area because they outnumber them. Rather, he said, Israel should treat the local population as citizens of Israel, although it cannot force Israeli citizenship upon them.

Gen. Dayan said he did not want to see an Egyptian Army back in Gaza or a Jordanian Army in Hebron. “We are now in a transition period between war and peace and we must take advantage of the opportunity to win over the Arabs in the occupied territories,” he said. He proposed establishment of a large center of Jewish population in the former Etzion settlements between Jerusalem and Hebron “as a link in a chain between Jerusalem and Beersheba.”

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