Minister of Agriculture Ariel Sharon has disclosed the establishment of several new settlements in the Judaea and Samaria regions during the past month. He claimed the settlements had been approved by the previous government and noted that they were established without publicity, meaning apparently that there was no adverse reaction from abroad.
Sharon, who is also chairman of the Ministerial Settlement Committee, who made the disclosure in an interview scheduled for publication tomorrow in Maariv, said it was only natural that the present government would implement decisions adopted by its predecessor. The previous government restricted West Bank settlements to the Jordan Valley. Israel Galili, former chairman of the settlement committee, had proposed settlements in Western Samaria and other areas of the West Bank. But those plans were not implemented by the Labor government.
Sharon, who was the guest of the Galilean regional council yesterday, complained bitterly that the government and public were not reacting to alleged illegal housing and cultivation by Arabs in Galilee on government land. He claimed there was almost no room for Jewish settlement in Galilee.
Meanwhile, members of the Gush Emunim moved into Yatir, a new settlement between Hebron and Beersheba, where they have set up a 4000-acre sheep ranch. Yatir is one of three new settlements on the West Bank which was announced by the Ministerial Settlement Committee last month. All three officials stressed, were approved by the previous government.
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