WZO Official to Continue Negotiations with Gush

The government and the World Zionist Organization reached an understanding today on negotiations with the Gush Emunim squatters at Kadum for an alternative settlement site. Yosef Almogi, chairman of the WZO Executive, reversed his orders of yesterday that the WZO steer clear of the politically explosive issue. He agreed, instead, that Yehiel Admoni, head of the WZO’s settlement department, continue negotiating with the Gush on behalf of the government.

Admoni was assigned the task by Minister-Without Portfolio, Israel Galili, chairman of the ministerial settlement committee which proposed two alternate sites for the illegal squatters. Almogi objected yesterday and insisted that the government conduct its negotiations with the Gush directly. He changed his mind after a meeting with Galili today during which the latter assured him that the WZO’s services were merely technical and would not get the organization involved in the political ramifications.

The government and the WZO agreed after the 1967 Six-Day War on their respective roles in establishing settlements in the administered territories. According to the agreement, the government bears sole responsibility for the settlements and the WZO serves only the technical side.

It was reported meanwhile, that the militant Gush squatters so far refused to accept the settlement sites proposed by the government.

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