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U.S. Envoy in Israel Instructed to Restate Administration’s Position on Establishing West Bank Settl

August 18, 1977
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Samuel Lewis, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, has instructions to “clearly restate our position” to the Israel government over its intention to establish three additional civilian settlements on the West Bank, the State Department said today. When the Israelis announced a month ago they would legalize three settlements, the United States described that action as an “obstacle to peace.” President Carter and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance assailed the move.

Today, however, State Department spokesman Hodding Carter said he was “not going to characterize” the Israeli decision while pointing out “our position is unchanged” regarding the West Bank. Asked whether Lewis would criticize or complain about the Israeli action, Carter said Lewis was “bound to state what our position is.” Carter said the U.S. would not discuss the subject with the Israeli Embassy here. He also said it is “a fair assumption” the U.S. did not know of Israel’s action in advance.


Meanwhile, the State Department condemned today the bombing yesterday of a bus in Israel in which eight persons were injured, but did not specifically name the Palestine Liberation Organization as the perpetrator. The PLO took credit for the explosion in the Afula bus station in central Israel.

Spokesman Hodding Carter said that “whoever is responsible is to be condemned.” He agreed with a statement in a question from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that this act of terrorism is “an obstacle to peace,” the phrase used by the Carter Administration in reference to Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Carter said he would not specify responsibility for the bombing pending special U.S. reports.

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