Troops Turn Back Israelis Who Want to Establish Settlement in Nablus

Israeli authorities blocked an attempt by several groups of Jewish youths to settle in the West Bank town of Nablus today. The would-be settlers arrived in several trucks loaded with household utensils and announced that they intended to establish a Jewish settlement on nearby Mount Gerizim. Military police, acting on orders of the military governor of the re- gion, turned back the trucks at one checkpoint and turned them away a second time when they attempted to enter Nablus by another route. Israelis are not permitted to remain longer than 48 hours in the occupied territories without special permission. The attempt to establish a Jewish foothold in Nablus, the largest West Bank town, was attributed to the Greater Israel movement. Its adherents insist that Israel annex all the territories occupied in the June, 1967 war. A leader of the movement, Knesset member Shmuel Tamir, was angered by the blocking of Nablus to Israeli settlers and said he would introduce an urgent question in the Knesset over the incident.

In another West Bank development, Premier Golda Meir yesterday suspended a controversial order requisitioning 300 acres of Arab-owned land north of Hebron. Mrs. Meir acted after receiving telegrams from Sheikh Mohammed Ali Jaabari, mayor of Hebron, and other Arab dignitaries urging her to rescind the order. She said she would review the question.

The requisition order was issued last Monday on grounds that the land was needed for security purposes, apparently to protect the nearby Etzion bloc of settlements. The region has been the scene of frequent guerrilla raids and acts of sabotage in recent months. Local Arabs feared that Israel was planning to expand the Etzion settlements or build a new para-military (Nahal) settlement on the land. Government sources said an Army base would be constructed but not a new settlement. Forty-five Arab families were given until today to evacuate the land which is owned mainly by Arabs in a nearby village. The owners were to be compensated, a military government spokesman said.

NEXT STORY