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State Department Condemns Israeli Settlement Plans in West Bank

September 27, 1967
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The United States Government regards Israeli moves to settle Jews on occupied Arab territory to be “inconsistent” with Israel’s stated position and in conflict with American policies. State Department spokesman Robert J. McCloskey made known today.

Mr. McCloskey told a news conference that the Administration was “attempting through diplomatic channels to clarify the exact position of the Israeli Government on this question.” He said that “if accurately reported, the plans for the establishment of permanent Israeli settlements would be inconsistent with Israel’s position regarding occupied territories, that these should be matters for negotiation.”

The State Department is aware of press reports pertaining to new Jewish settlements but has as yet had no official information “of any change” of the previously proclaimed policy, he said.

(The Israel Cabinet decided Sunday to establish a settlement on the Banias ridge not far from the Syrian village of Banias. Israeli sources have said that the site of the new settlement was on the Israeli side of the international boundary line, an area which had not been cultivated since 1948 because of the difficulty of defense from Syrian attack. The Cabinet also authorized the reestablishment of Kfar Etzion, a bloc of four settlements in the Hebron Hills, between Hebron and Bethlehem, which the Jordanians captured in 1948.)

(It was announced today in Tel Aviv that the four Etzion settlements will be reestablished before the Jewish New Year which begins on the eve of October 4, Young members of the National Religious Party, joined by survivors of the original settlements, will move into the area for that purpose. Three of the four settlements destroyed by the Jordanians were originally built by religious settlers. The land on which they stood is owned by the Jewish National Fund.)

The United States stand is that this Government would not recognize territorial gains through war. This was made clear by President Johnson and other Administration leaders, officials said. They cited President Johnson’s “five great principles” of June 19 which include a demand for territorial integrity for all the states of the area.

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