Begin: Success of West Bank Autonomy Plan Depends on Massive Settlement

Premier Menachem Begin told kibbutz and moshav leaders today that the “success of the government’s autonomy plan for the West Bank depends on massive settlement.” He was meeting in his office with members of the Ein Vered Group, an informal association of kibbutz and moshav members, many of them Labor-party affiliated, who favor major settlements across the “green line.” Members of the group said after the meeting they had heard “encouraging things” from Begin regarding settlement plans in the future. But they gave no details.

At today’s meeting with the settlement advocates, Begin and his visitors took the opportunity to criticize bitterly Prof. Raanan Weitz, cochairman of the World Zionist Organization’s settlement department, for his West Bank settlement scheme, recently submitted to the government, which envisaged the possibility of a separate Palestinian state.

Weitz, meanwhile, today resubmitted a revised plan with all the controversial political material removed. He said he had accepted WZO Executive chairman Leon Dulzin’s suggestion that the WZO Executive examine a revised, nonpolitical plan which dealt strictly with professional, technical and agricultural aspects of future settlement schemes.

Begin, in a speech tonight to a Herut meeting in Tel Aviv, said if Camp David failed it would not be Israel’s fault but that of the other side. The Premier said that he and his aides were not going to the camp with a view to the summit failing, but with a view to it succeeding.

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