UNITED NATIONS (Jan. 17)
The improved living standards, economy and educational facilities in the Gaza Strip and Raffah areas under Israeli administration were contrasted today with the squalid conditions that existed during 19 years of Egyptian rule. The comparison was made by Israel’s UN Ambassador Yosef Tekoah in a letter to Secretary General Kurt Waldheim. Tekoah’s letter was in response to charges of Israeli misrule contained in a Jan. 4 letter to the Secretary General from the Egyptian Ambassador.
Tekoah said that under the Egyptian regime, “The Gaza inhabitants were deprived of their political rights and of their freedom of movement and the refugees among them “confined to wretched camps.” Under Israeli rule, he said, “There is now freedom of movement and a marked rise in the standard of living.” He cited the expansion of agricultural and industrial production in the Gaza Strip, the increase of employment in workshops and the construction and enlargement of vocational schools for the local populace.
Tekoah also noted that terrorism has been almost entirely eliminated through security measures by the Israeli authorities and the construction of access roads to towns and refugee camps in the Gaza Strip and Raffah areas. “The government of Israel does not consider itself obliged to pursue the Egyptian policy of excluding refugees from the normal course of life and development,” Tekoah’s letter said.