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Bethlehem Mayor Urges Israelis, Palestinians to Start Talking

March 21, 1983
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Mayor Elias Freij of Bethlehem warned that unless Israelis and Palestinians start talking, in another 12 months “there will be nothing to talk about.”

Speaking in Jerusalem this weekend at the closing session of a three-day seminar organized by the International Center for Peace in the Middle East, Freij urged “the silent, peace-loving majority to no longer remain silent.” He said the intensive pace of Jewish settlements on the West Bank is the main factor threatening a peace agreement.

The mayor urged Jordan’s King Hussein and the Palestine Liberation Organization to make a move toward Israel. He expressed disappointment at the non-committal resolutions of the Arab summit in Fez, Morocco. The seminar was attended by 14 Knesset members from all parties and by Arab personalities from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

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