Two Cabinet Ministers Differ on Future of Israeli-occupied Arab Territories

Two Israeli Cabinet ministers who hold the rank of General made diverging references to the occupied Arab territories in separate statements here yesterday. Gen. Moshe Dayan, the Defense Minister, said the Government had no intention of “Israelizing” the territories. But Gen. Ezer Weizman, the Minister of Transport, said he did not recognize the concept of “territories” and implied that Israel had the right to establish settlements anywhere. Gen. Dayan, who spoke in the Knesset said the Government would tighten its security measures in the occupied areas but would try to interfere as little as possible with the normal life of the local inhabitants. He suggested that ultimately the best way to combat terrorism was not by force of arms but by demonstrating to local Arabs that terrorist activities were not a liberating movement but one destructive of lives and property.

Gen. Dayan said the Government would continue its “open bridges” policy which permits Arabs from the occupied zones to visit Arabs in neighboring Jordan and other countries. He said the maintenance of the social, cultural and economic links was important. Gen. Weizman, who represents the militant Herut faction, told a student audience at the convention center that he could not understand how Israelis who built the Etzion settlements near Hebron 24 years ago can now refer to that area as the “territories.”

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