JERUSALEM (Dec. 30)
Arab political leaders in East Jerusalem were forced to abandon a Palestinian Assembly that was to have convened there today because the Military Government prevented West Bank delegates from attending. The organizers, heads of public institutions in East Jerusalem, declared the assembly postponed when their West Bank colleagues failed to arrive. The Military Government had set up road blocks around the city and troops turned back the Arab notables.
Although the Military Government has a standing policy of banning political assemblies by West Bank Arabs, Arab community leaders have succeeded several times in recent weeks to hold such meetings. When Israeli officials realized that this was becoming a regular event since the imprisonment and subsequent release of Mayor Bassam Shaka of Nablus, it was decided to use physical means to enforce the ban. The Military Government informed the East Jerusalem Arabs today that if they wanted to convene they would have to obtain the proper permits.