Sapir Criticizes Dayan Plan to Integrate Hebron into Economic Unit with Israel

Pinhas Sapir, secretary-general of the Israel Labor Party, criticized Defense Minister Gen. Moshe Dayan’s proposal to integrate the West Bank town of Hebron and surrounding areas Into a single economic unit with Jerusalem and the Negev Desert city of Beersheba. Mr. Sapir said he opposes integration of Arabs into the Israel labor market and that the Dayan proposal would create a bi-national state. “We have not come here and shed our blood to create such a state,” he said.

Gen. Dayan refused to debate Mr. Sapir publicly, but Moshe Kol, Minister of Tourism and Development, backed him up. Mr. Kol said that Israel does not regret her occupied territories policy, a policy he said that seeks to raise the living standard of the population.

Dayan told a Beersheba audience last week that “there is no difficulty in transforming this area Into one unit in terms of transport, water, electricity and agricultural matters.” He also said Gaza Strip Arabs should participate in such an economic unit. An advocate of integrating occupied territories Arabs into the Israel economy, Gen. Dayan said Jewish population superiority makes fear of Arab domination from within unnecessary.

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