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Doron Refutes Charges That Israel Pursues Policy of Annexation, Settlement

The comparatively modest extent of Jewish settlement in the administered Arab territories since 1967 was cited here today to refute “allegations of a policy of annexation and settlement” contained in the report of the three-nation Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories. Addressing the General Assembly’s Special Political Committee, Israeli Ambassador Jacob Doron noted that since 1967, 42 Israeli settlements with a combined population of 4200 have been established in the administered areas.

Of the Jewish population, 1050 are in Nahal–military-agricultural settlements–and are soldiers on active duty, Doron said. “So far only 3150 Israeli civilians have been allowed to take up residence in the area” and these constitute 0.3 percent of the population which consists of over one million Arabs, the Israeli Ambassador pointed out. The committee which submitted the report consists of Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Yugoslavia and Somalia. They do not have diplomatic relations with Israel and have consistently demonstrated pro-Arab bias, according to Doron. He noted that Somalia has in fact declared itself to be in a state of war with Israel. The Israeli envoy said that since 1968, the Arab population in the administered territories has increased by 87,300–more than 27 times the number of Israeli civilians who went to live there in the same period. “Since mid-1967, Israel has permitted some 50,000 Arabs to return to the areas as permanent residents,” Doron said.

“The report also attempts to create the impression that the administered areas are being used for the absorption of Jewish immigration. Again this is a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts,” Doron said. “Since 1968, more than 200,000 immigrants have settled in Israel, but…only 3150 Israeli civilians have gone to live…in the administered areas, and the percentage of new immigrants in this figure is not substantial,” he said. According to Doron’s breakdown of Jewish settlements in the administered territories, there are 15 settlements in the Golan Heights with a population of 1100 Israelis against a non-Israeli population of 8000 Druze; in the southern part of the Sinai peninsula, inhabited by less than 8000 nomadic Bedouin, there are three settlements with 600 Israelis. In the Gaza Strip and northern Sinai which have a population of 390,000 Arab residents, seven Israeli settlements have been established, including five which are Nahal bases.

Doron reported that 17 settlements have been established in Judaea and Samaria (West Bank), 11 of them, numbering 350 Israelis in the sparsely populated Jordan Valley border region. In the area near Hebron, 800 Israelis have re-established two former Jewish settlements, one at Kiryat Arba and the other in the Etzion bloc. He noted that the Etzion settlers were mainly the children of those killed when the Jordanian army overran and destroyed the settlements in 1948. The settlers at Kiryat Arba, adjacent to Hebron, are restoring a Jewish community that had lived in the region continuously for more than 2000 years until massacred by Arabs in 1929, Ambassador Doron said.

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