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Greater Israel Movement Criticizes Allon Plan for Partitioning West Bank

June 19, 1968
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A plan by Israel’s Minister of Labor Yigal Allon that would create an Arab enclave in part of the West Bank territory and a front line of Israeli security settlements along the bank of the Jordan River was criticized today by spokesmen for the so-called Greater Israel Movement. Adherents of the movement have demanded that Israel retain permanently all Arab territory occupied in last June’s Six-Day War. Today they demanded that the Government begin to plant settlements all along the Jordan Valley and denounced any plan that would cede Israel-held territory to the Arabs. They argued that such a plan would forestall peace and bring a new war with the Arabs nearer. A delegation representing the group met with Gen. Allon today.

(New York Times correspondent Terence Smith said in a dispatch from Jerusalem today that the Allon plan has won the support of both Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and Defense Minister Gen. Moshe Dayan who had once favored a different scheme for partitioning the West Bank. This had been reported previously by JTA. “From the Israeli point of view, the plan’s main attraction is that it would provide for the security of the state without upsetting the demographic balance of the country,” Mr. Smith wrote. Under the plan, Israel would retain the strip of flatland along the West Bank of the Jordan River where a string of para-military settlements would be established. The estimated Arab population of the strip is only 14,000, some 8,000 of whom live in the town of Jericho, five miles from the river bank. The heavily populated Arab centers of the West Bank such as Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah and Hebron would be part of an Arab enclave that would be autonomous or joined with Jordan by a corridor passing through the Israeli security belt. The Arabs would be granted an outlet at an Israeli Mediterranean port and would have free access to the Holy Places in Jerusalem. Jordan would enjoy the same rights once it signed a peace treaty with Israel. But, Mr. Smith reported, “despite the agreement on the plan, the Labor Party ministers are not expected to move for its formal promulgation by the Government for two reasons: because of negotiations before talks begin and because they have no desire at the moment to split the so-called National Unity government. The Government coalition still includes the former opposition factions that were brought into the Cabinet on the eve of the war and an official acceptance of the Allon proposal as a basis of negotiation would force some of their ministers to resign,” Mr. Smith wrote.)

Three Arab judges have reversed a ruling by one of their colleagues in Hebron which barred Israeli lawyers from appearing on behalf of clients in West Bank courts. The three judges, comprising the West Bank court of appeal in Ramallah, ruled Monday rejecting the Hebron magistrate’s argument that the six Arab lawyers on the West Bank who have not joined in the general strike of lawyers were sufficient to handle the case load.

In a related development, Jordanian authorities in Amman have cut off stipends to civil servants on the West Bank who up to now have been drawing double salaries–one from Jordan to maintain the facade of Hashemite sovereignty in the occupied area and one from Israel for work performed. Some 5,000 civil servants involved were “dismissed” by Jordan. All former Jordanian civil servants on the West Bank, numbering about 12,000, have reportedly been ordered by Amman to stop working for Israelis. The order is said to affect teachers, doctors and nurses paid by both Israel and Jordan. King Hussein has issued a royal decree forbidding any form of Arab cooperation with Israeli authorities.

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