The Mayor of Bethlehem on the West Bank of the Jordan has advocated a major plan for the coexistence of Israel with its neighbours.
SCU Mayor Elias Freij of Bethlehem speaking to reporter in English.
FREIJ: "In America in particular which I consider to be the centre of the free democratic world, I found sympathy for the idea of having a transitional period on the West Bank and Gaza for five years. I proposed to them the Americans should participate in the transitional period themselves and I found acceptance to the idea of sending observers, technicians, and American administrators, but almost nobody accepted to send American soldiers. It is my contention and my firm belief that after a period of five years and a free and democratic plebescite the majority of the inhabitants in the West Bank and gaza then vote for confederation with the Kingdom of Jordan. The security of Israel, as I explained to the politicians in Washington and elsewhere, could be secured in an integrated common market. If we can establish on the West Bank something similar to the status of Luxembourg where you can have free commerce, open borders for tourists, for labour, for commerce and everything, and where Israel could be integrated into this market, then the security of Israel will be easily achieved. The P.L.O. (Palestinian Liberation Organisation) is part of the Palestinian people, and the Palestinian people are part of the P.L.O. All that the P.L.O. is looking for is to find a just and equitable solution to the legitimate rights of the palestinian people. So, I believe once a good basis is found the whole bomb of hatred will be defused."
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Background: The Mayor of Bethlehem on the West Bank of the Jordan has advocated a major plan for the coexistence of Israel with its neighbours. Mr. Elias Freij has promoted his plan during a tour of seven countries including the United States. His proposals including a five-year transitional period, then a plebescite.