TEL AVIV (Jun. 7)
The new controversial Gush Emunim settlement of Alon Moreh was established this morning on land expropriated from Arab owners near Nablus, the largest Arab town on the West Bank. The move, in compliance with Sunday’s majority Cabinet decision, was made in a coordinated operation between the Israeli army and the World Zionist Organization’s settlement department.
Early today, Military Government authorities delivered seizure orders to the Arab landowners. Shortly afterwards, three large bulldozers began moving earth for an access road on the rocky terrain about a mile east of Nablus. A private helicopter flew in smaller tractors and other equipment to prepare the site for tents and campers that will serve as the temporary homes of the new settlers. The army provided the tents.
About 300 jubilant Gush were on hand along with Agriculture Minister Ariel Sharon, chairman of the Ministerial Settlement Committee, who was in charge of the operation. Sharon is a leading advocate of massive Jewish colonization of the occupied Arab territories.