TEL AVIV (Sep. 1)
A new plan for settlements on the West Bank is being proposed by Agriculture Minister Ariel Sharon, head of the ministerial settlement committee, which would establish urban and agricultural settlements to prevent the existing Arab population centers from spreading in such a way that they would become security risks for Israel.
The plan, reportedly in the final stages of preparation, would increase the Jewish population around Jerusalem; establish a network of Jewish settlements west of the Arab population centers of Nablus, Jenin and Ramallah and build a series of roads from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.
According to the proposal which was revealed by Maariv today, there will be three new Jewish urban centers in the Jerusalem region, at Givon, west of the capital, Maaleh Adumim east of the city, and Efrath to the south. This will become a civilian defense line for Jerusalem. In Samaria, an eastern strip of Jewish settlements will be built in a region where few Arabs live to provide a continuation of Jewish settlements from the coast.
The plan calls for an east-west road from the sea to the Jordan River in the southern Samaria region along which will be established industrial centers, army installations and civilian settlements. There will be two north-south roads from Meggido to Latrun and from Afula to Arad, both of which will pass through Samaria. There are also plans for a series of settlements south of Hebron that will use the Kiryat Arba settlement as its urban center.
NO WITHDRAWAL FROM THE GOLAN
Meanwhile, at a ceremony on the Golan Heights today marking the 10th anniversary of Jewish settlements there, Sharon said that the Syrian conquest of Lebanon, through United States aid, had totally worsened the situation for Israel in the north. He said there can be no withdrawal from the Golan. Sharon told the large rally at Merom Hagolan that Israel must set up a target to settle two million Jews during the next 20 years in a strip from the Golan Heights to Sharm el-Sheikh.
Chief of Staff Gen. Mordechai Gur told the settlers that the Israeli army had been partners with them in creating the settlements. He said security was never the central consideration in the fulfillment of Zionism. He said the settlements do not create security problems since settlements are the policy while defense is only the means of securing that policy.
Israel Galili, who headed the ministerial settlement committee under the Labor government, said the Golan settlements were not established to be torn down. The settlements, he asserted, cannot be given up.