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Israel Responds to Ilo Charges

June 23, 1989
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The head of the Israeli delegation to the International Labor Organization conference here lashed back Wednesday at Arabs who have accused Israel of mistreating Palestinian workers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Rabbi Moshe Feldman, Israel’s deputy minister of labor and social welfare, claimed in a speech to the body that one of the principal goals of the Palestinian uprising is to destroy economic relations between Israel and the territories it administers.

He said no method is too extreme to achieve that goal, including physical harm, harassment and intimidation of Arab workers and setting fire to the buses transporting them to Israel.

This is in stark contrast to the declared principles of the ILO, Feldman said.

A resolution charging Israel with “violation of trade union rights” and suppression of trade union activities in the territories was introduced by the Arab states when the conference opened on June 7.

But it was relegated to third place on the agenda, following discussion of environmental issues and the international debt. Observers doubt it will come to the floor before the conference adjourns on June 28.

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