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Security Situation Improves; Buffer Zones to Be Re-appraised Dayan Tells Knesset

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Defense Minister Moshe Dayan announced to the Knesset yesterday that military authorities would soon review the status of buffer zones on the West Bank and other cordoned off security areas. He said the projected review stemmed from the increasing success in the fight against terrorist infiltration and that if the security situation continued to improve, the number of administrative detainees-persons held in custody without formal charges-would be drastically reduced and might number no more than 25 by next Sept. compared to about 600 two years ago.

Gen. Dayan’s remarks to the Knesset had the desired affect on the house which promptly voted 60-6 to drop a no confidence motion introduced by Meir Wilner of the New Communist faction. Wilner had based his motion on the fact that the buffer zones were cleared of their residents and closed to agriculture, facts which Dayan readily admitted, saying the cleared zones were vital to security. Dayan said the areas to be reappraised included the fields of Akraba village east of Nablus. He said the recent defoliation of that area by poison spraying had been an error of judgement committed in good faith. Dayan said it was necessary to halt cultivation so that terrorist infiltrates could be tracked down more easily. But he added that he disagreed with the methods employed.

Dayan reported that all borders were quiet during the past six months except the Lebanese where 87 terrorists were killed during that period.

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