The Israeli Army has thwarted a new settlement by Jewish Nationalists in occupied Arab land on the West Bank.
The Israeli Army has thwarted a new settlement by Jewish Nationalists in occupied Arab land on the West Bank. It demonstrated the Israeli Government's determination to avoid any provocation which might jeopardise a resumption of peace talks with Egypt.
SYNOPSIS: The attempt was made by one hundred or so settlers belonging to the fanatical Gush Emunim or 'faithful followers'. The intending settlers were mostly immigrants from the Soviet Union. They said they were exercising a divine right to live anywhere in the Promised Land of the Bible.
The settlers had been living in temporary accommodation at an old army camp at Beit Horon, seventeen kilometres (10 miles) northwest of Jerusalem. They were attempting to establish a settlement on a nearby hilltop, with prefabricated buildings they had carried up the hill.
Troops sealed off the area warning the settlers that if they didn't leave peacefully, they would be dragged away. The Israeli Government agreed at the beginning of the peace talks that there would be no new settlements. Settlements on occupied land have been one of the most contentious issues in negotiations between Israel and Egypt. The Gush Emunim fear that a peace treaty with Egypt will bar them from setting on Biblical lands presently occupied by Israel. Military units blocked key roads on the West Bank in an effort to stop others trying to join those near Beit Horon.
These settlers were stopped near the town of Kadum, which was one of the first Jewish civilian villages established in the West Bank after Israel captured it from Jordan in 1967. The Israeli Prime Minister, Mr Begin, sent the Deputy Defence Minister, Mordechai Zipori to talk to the settlers at Kadum. The settlers say that offers from Mr Begin were not significant and would not deter them from attempting to continue with their settlements.