TEL AVIV (Apr. 29)
Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir declared Monday that the West Bank Arab town of Hebron was a “liberated” Jewish city and “will never be given back.”
Addressing Irgun veterans on the anniversary of the conquest of Jaffa, and Arab city adjacent to Tel Aviv, during the 1948 War of Independence, Shamir asserted: “Just as Jaffa was liberated and not be given back, so Hebron was liberated and will never be given back. It will be a leading city in Israel and in the Land of Israel.”
Shamir, the Likud leader who is slated to become Prime Minister under the national unity government’s rotation of power agreement that takes effect next October 14, spoke in the same vein in Hebron Sunday, where he addressed Gush Emunim activists.
He told the Irgun veterans that “people can argue today about whether the battle for Jaffa was necessary. But you can’t forget that a short time after it was liberated, Jaffa was filled with thousands of (Jewish) immigrants who had no-where else to live.”
Jaffa was seized by forces of the Irgun and of Lehi, also known as the Stern group, which Shamir headed at the time.