TEL AVIV (Jul. 16)
Defense Minister Shimon Peres, reporting on a visit today to the Gaza Strip, said that the Strip had been tranquil for the past six months and that annual income per capita in the Strip had reached IL 1200, an increase he described as a significant achievement. Peres was accompanied by Gen. Yonna Efrat, coordinator of activities in the administered areas. Gen. Raphael Vardi and local commanders.
One of the topics discussed in meetings with a group of leaders of Gaza Strip communities was the issue of a Palestinian entity. The discussions produced a variety of views, the Israeli officials reported. Some of the local leaders wanted to be under Jordanian rule, some even wanted to return to control by Egypt and some suggested the Strip be attached to the Samaria-Judea district on the West Bank. Some of the Arab dignitaries said they had been invited to come to Beirut to discuss the Palestinian entity issue but they indicated no clear idea as to what they really wanted.
Most of the requests from the Arab dignitaries involved economic matters, including requests for creation of a bank in the Strip, creation of trade unions and setting up of a housing company.