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Israel Will Hold Gaza Strip, Information Minister Asserts on Armed Forces Radio

Minister of Information Israel Galili said in a radio broadcast Friday that he thought it was quite “definite” that the Gaza Strip will remain part of Israel. Mr. Galili, who spoke in reply to questions on a program over the armed forces radio station, emphasized that he was not making an official statement of Government policy. But he indicated strongly that his views, and the Government’s, coincide on the future of the 25-mile long strip. He noted that there has been no official statement that the Golan Heights of Syria would remain part of Israel but the Israel Government was nevertheless establishing permanent settlements in that region.

The Gaza Strip was part of the territory of Palestine administered by Britain under a League of Nations mandate from 1921-1948. It was occupied by Egypt during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Israeli forces ousted the Egyptians in the 1956 Sinai campaign but later withdrew under pressure from the UN. The Strip was occupied by Israel again in the 1967 war. It contains an estimated 340,000 Arabs including 200,000 refugees in camps. It is the only territory under Israeli occupation since 1967 that has spawned an indigenous sabotage movement.

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