JERUSALEM (Nov. 23)
Dr. Eliyahu Ben-Elissar, Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office and head of the Governmental Committee on Autonomy, denied media reports today that the committee intends to submit an intermediate report on the implementation of the autonomy plan to the government next week. Ben-Elissar said the detailed implementation of the autonomy plan had not yet been discussed in committee.
The media noted that the committee’s report contains three primary recommendations for the implementation of autonomy: State land in the autonomy region, comprising some one million dunams, will remain the properly of the State of Israel and will not be turned over to any foreign body; the self-ruling body under the autonomy plan will not be granted rights equal to those held by the Jordanian government in the region prior to 1967; and all water sources in the autonomy region will remain the property of Israel.
Ben-Elissar, in denying these reports, also noted that the committee is not planning to submit a report on the autonomy in the near future. It is generally felt that while the committee intended to submit such a report, the sensitive stage of the ongoing negotiations between Israel and Egypt rendered such a move impractical this time.
Meanwhile, the religious kibbutz movement voiced opposition today to the Israeli autonomy plan, contending that it undermines and endangers the very existence and development of settlements on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In a session of the movement’s political committee and general secretariat, it was decided that the movement will begin lobbying immediately for the establishment of local authorities for settlements in these territories.