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Orthodox Jews Present Plans for Settlement in Town of Shilo

A group of Orthodox would-be settlers at Shilo, ancient site of the temporary sanctuary during the period of Joshua and the Judges, met yesterday with a senior aide to Minister-Without-Portfolio Yisrael Galili to give him their plans for an industrial kibbutz on the site. The aide, Arnan Azaryahu, told the JTA the group would meet with Galili later this week once he had studied their plans and proposals.

If Galili thought their ideas feasible from an economic standpoint, it would then be for the Ministerial settlement committee, which Galili heads, to rule on the political advisability of settlement in Shilo, Azaryahu said. Shilo is on the Ramallah-Nablus Road, some 25 kilometers north of Jerusalem. The settlers had impressed him as “sincere and serious,” Azaryahu said, and they did not seem intent on defying government opposition to their plan–but rather on persuading key ministers and officials of its worthiness.

The would-be settlers–some 20 families and several dozen bachelors–mostly belong to the “Emunim” section of the National Religious Party, a section closely affiliated to the NRP “Young Guard.” “Emunim” claims it has applicants ready to settle throughout Judea and Samaria, and it has prepared plans for a string of new settlements stretching across the mountain ridges from Jerusalem north to Afula.

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