TEL AVIV (Feb. 18)
Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin has made it clear that he is opposed in principle to the establishment of Jewish settlements in the heart of Arab towns on the West Bank such as Nablus and Hebron. He promised a delegation of Knesset members of the Citizens Rights Movement (CRM) that no Jewish settlement will be established on the controversial site of Tel Rumeida in Hebron unless the government sanctions it.
He added that he hoped no such decision will be made. Tel Rumeida is a hilltop in the middle of Arab Hebron where Jewish militants from nearby Kiryat Arba established themselves shortly before the Knesset elections last July — with the approval of then Defense Minister Moshe Arens.
The present Labor-Likud coalition government has refused to allow the settlers to expand. The West Bank Civil Administration last week declared Tel Rumeida an archaeological site which forbids the settlers to erect permanent housing there. The settlers themselves are defiant.