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Factions Agree on Policy Toward Territories; Government May Be Formed This Week

Efforts by a special committee to draft basic policy lines for a new Government of national unity appeared to be making progress today. A formula was accepted by representatives of the various factions on the question of occupied territories. It was based on Premier Golda Meir’s statement in the Knesset, when she took office earlier this year, that policies in the occupied territories will be dictated by the nation’s security needs.

On Friday, a committee headed by Justice Minister Yaacov S. Shapiro, agreed not to change existing policy lines governing religious matters–in effect to maintain the status quo that has prevailed since the State was established. Parties represented on the committee were the Labor-Mapam Alignment, Gahal and the Religious bloc. As of today, the only obstacle to establishing a new Government appeared to be Mapam’s refusal to join a coalition with the right-wing Gahal. If Mapam leaders can be convinced to change their attitude, a new Government may be formed this week.