Calls It “creeping Annexation” Mapam Will Fight Dayan’s Proposal for Free Land Purchases in Territor

Mapam said last night that it would vigorously oppose Defense Minister Moshe Dayan’s demand that Jews be allowed to freely purchase land from Arabs in the administered territories. At a meeting of the party’s political committee here, Mapam’s political secretary Naftali Feder accused Dayan of “heaping new obstacles on the path of peace.”

He called the Defense Minister’s proposal “creeping annexation” and warned that “any deviation from the status quo will intensify our annexationist image in the eyes of the world.” Jews are officially barred from buying land in the Samaria and Judaea regions, though according to a State Comptroller’s report, fairly large transactions have taken place though they have not been recorded in the official lands registry. Dayan’s proposals would formalize a de facto situation, observers here have noted.

Transportation Minister Shimon Peres said in Haifa last night that he would support a government decision to permit land purchases in the territories by Jewish firms and individuals as long as they were made with the free agreement of the sellers and were not intended for political purposes or economic speculation. It was learned meanwhile that Jordanian religious leaders have banned the sale of land in the territories to Jews and branded any Arab who sells land a traitor.

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