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Hebron Mayor Critical of Jordan, Israel’s West Bank Activities

Sheikh Muhammad Ali Jaabari, the Mayor of Hebron, criticized Israeli activities on the West Bank but had much harsher words for Jordan yesterday in a speech to Arab notables comprising the Hebron Area Council for Public Affairs. Replying to reproaches by Jordanian ministers that West Bankers were trying to keep that region separate from Jordan, the Sheikh said, “We are not afraid of threats and we do not need a certificate of patriotism from Amman. We shall not allow others to make our decisions.” He added, “Our fathers married our mothers,” an Arabic idiom meaning that legitimate offspring have the right to speak their own minds. Jaabari and his Council urged the Israeli military government to permit the return of West Bankers deported to Jordan and protested against continued Israeli settlement on the West Bank. Israel announced plans yesterday for the third of a series of civilian settlements on the West Bank of the Jordan. The land has already been reclaimed and irrigation pipes have been laid and plots are being prepared for the construction of housing. The new settlement marks another step in implementation of the so-called Allon Plan proposed by Deputy Premier Yigal Allon, for a fringe of protective settlements along the Jordan.