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Gush Attack Government Settlement Policy

June 8, 1978
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The government’s settlement policy in the occupied territories came under sharp attack yesterday from Premier Menachem Begin’s most ardent supporters who charged it was not doing enough to spread Jewish settlements throughout the “land of Israel.”

Militants of the Gush Emunim and three MKs who share their ideology held a press conference here at which the Gush political secretary, Gershon Shafat, demanded that the government rescind its peace plan and launch major settlement programs in Judaea and Samaria, meaning the West Bank. He warned of a “big fight” ahead, accused the government of doing too little in recent months to establish new settlements and urged it to initiate development projects that would attract hundreds of thousands of settlers to the territories. Hannan Porat, “strong man” of the Gush, would not say that his movement was ready to defy the government in order to expand settlements. He said he hoped a public campaign would do the job.

Likud MK Geula Cohen, a vociferous opponent of the government’s peace policy which she thinks is too soft, and her Knesset colleague Moshe Shamir, said it was a national scandal that more settlements were not established since Likud came into power. Haim Druckman, of the National Religious Party, urged the government to defy the U.S. and resist any pressure from Washington. “Our forefathers lived in Judaa and Samaria long before anybody ever heard of the U.S.,” he said.

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