Gusn Setters Try to Expand Kadumim

The Gush Emunim continued its campaign to try to force the government to expropriate Arab owned land for West Bank settlements by breaking down the fences last night that surround the Gush settlement of Kadumim, near Nablus.

The settlers, taking their children with them, erected two makeshift buildings, a succah and a children’s playground, near the Arab village of Kaddum. When the army indicated it was ready to try to forcibly evacuate them, the settlers sent cables to Premier Menachem Begin and other ministers and warned they and their children would lock themselves into the hastily-built buildings. An at tempt by the army to evict them would endanger the lives of men, women and children, the settlers warned.

Asked why they would risk the lives of their children, Daniella Weiss, one of the settlement leaders, said: “The life of the entire people of Israel is in danger if we do not take quick action and settle Judaea and Samaria.”

Meanwhile, the army blocked off all approaches to the area, apparently in preparation for the evacuation of the settlers and in an attempt to block any reinforcements from other Gush Emunim settlers in Samaria.

The Arab residents of Kaddum were surprised this morning to find the settlers close to their olive grove. They reacted with anger, fearing the settlers had seized some of their olive trees. Only when they realized that the settlers had put up their shacks on barren land did they calm down. However, tension reportedly continued in the nearby Arab villages.

CABINET TO DISCUSS LAND SEIZURE

The operation in Kadumim is the fourth such seizure in the last month. Similar actions took place in Kiryat Arba, Ofra and Tekoa in a demand “to settle 100,000 Jews in Judaea and Samaria within the next year.” There are now only several thousand settlers in the territories.

The Cabinet is expected to discuss the issue of land seizure at its session Sunday. The Gush Emunim announced earlier this week it would go ahead with even larger scale operations to force the government to decide on a large-scale settlement effort. According to one report today, the Gush will soon launch similar “fence breaking” action simultaneously in several of its settlements in Judaea and Samaria.

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