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Freij Says Most West Bank Residents Support Confederation with Jordan

Mayor Elias Freij of Bethlehem said in a Voice of Israel Radio interview today that most Arab residents of the West Bank support the idea of a confederation between Jordan and self-governing Palestinians in the territory. He said the attacks on Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasir Arafat by elements of the PLO leadership because of his contacts with King Hussein of Jordan were of no significance.

Freij, a moderate who has long favored a political solution of Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians urged the PLO and Israel to recognize each other simultaneously. He said the PLO would gain many advantages from such a move and warned that time was running out for the Palestinians because of Israel’s intensified settlement activity in the occupied territories.