Bethlehem Mayor Supports Federation
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Bethlehem Mayor Supports Federation

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Bethlehem Mayor Elias Freij came out today in support of a confederation between a Palestinian stats in the West Bank and Jordan. The idea was worked out between King Hussein of Jordan and Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat, according to media reports abroad, although Hussein in Paris yesterday declined to say if he and Arafat favored a confederation.

Freij, in an interview with Israel Radio, said he believes the majority of the people in the administered territories accept the confederation idea. In a separate interview, another West Bank leader, former Jordanian Defense Minister Anwar Nosseiba agreed with Freij that any such confederation would necessitate the prior establishment of a Palestinian entity.

“Jordan and the West Bank complete each other,” Freij said. “The east bank is one lung, the West Bank is another lung. So we are two lungs in one body.” Contrary to the situation until 1967 Freij suggested that each side of the Jordan River would have its own government but with one “police force, one army and one passport” for both states. Both states would function on an equal basis, he said.

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