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Shamir Backs ‘massive’ Jewish Settlement of East Jerusalem

Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir met Monday with members of a zealous Jewish nationalist group and told them “East Jerusalem should be massively settled with Jews.”

Shamir told members of the Temple Mount Faithful that he respected the group’s struggle and that “there is no disputing the need to preserve Jerusalem’s safety and welfare, and its status as Israel’s capital.”

The premier added that actions to prevent attacks against Jews in the Old City must be stepped up, and that Jewish settlement of heavily Arab East Jerusalem should be “part of our settlement policy in this country.”

The Temple Mount Faithful were among Jewish worshipers prevented from staging demonstrations in Jerusalem’s Old City on Tisha B’Av. Police barred Jews from the Temple Mount on the holiday, where crowds of Arab worshipers also marked the first day of the Moslem feast of Idel-Adha.

Gershon Salomon, spokesman for the Jewish group, complained about the police action and expressed concern for the future of the Temple Mount and Jerusalem.

Shamir said that while he understood the group’s struggle, “it must be conducted within the framework of the law. I am sure that many of your demands will be fulfilled in coming years. The issue of Jerusalem is uppermost in our mind.”

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