Nationalist Israeli settlers threatened on Monday (10 May) to defy a government decision to close down their camp.
GV man walks along road passing mobile homes in Kaddum
SV PAN from baby's chair to Israeli flag
GV synagogue hut being used for press conference
SV INTERIOR of synagogue with spokes woman reading communique
SV second spokeswoman speaking
1ST, SPOKESWOMEN: "Gush Emunim and the leadership of Alon Moreh met last night following the government's decision, discussions, and reached the following decisions. We view with severity the hasty government decision not to approve the establishment of a Jewish settlement in Kaddum. For six months there has been a Jewish settlement with 150 members in Kaddum. The members of Alon Moreh are living there with the government's approval and in accordance with the government decision.
With persistence and dedication they have established a full community life and they intend to continue to build and to develop a highly populated settlement. Therefore, we cannot accept a decision by a government that did not bother to explain the demand to stop the settlement. the ministers themselves did not find it necessary to visit the settlement, and to hear what the settlers had to say, before they determined their destiny. We will not agree to any decision which will mean the dismantlement of the settlement. We hope that the government will withdraw its decision".
2ND SPOKESWOMAN: "We find it very important to settle also the Jordan Valley and other parts of Israel. But we know in this specific case he is asking me whether we are ready to sit there means not only sitting there but it means not sitting here. And what is important for us is sitting here. and we don't see why part of Israel will not be open for Jewish settlement. We think we should settle every place and we also support settlement in the Jordan Valley and in other places in Israel. But here in this specific case we are speaking about a settlement in the heart of Shimon which we believe is a part, which we consider part of Israel."
Initials RH/1616 RH/JB/AW/1630
This film is serviced with statements by two spokeswomen for the Kaddum settlers. A transcript appears below.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Nationalist Israeli settlers threatened on Monday (10 May) to defy a government decision to close down their camp. They are living in an army camp at Kaddum in the Israeli-occupied West Bank area.
The decision from the government came on Sunday (9 May) after its longest and most heated debate for many months. Left-wing ministers had threatened to walk out unless the settlers were removed.
The Cabinet communique said: "the government will act towards increasing settlement on both sides of the "green line". It also stated that a new site would be chosen for the 150 Kaddum settlers. The 'green lien' is the pre-June 1967 Israel-Jordan border.
The settlers' leaders have said that they will not leave unless a better site is found for them in the same area, which they say is part of biblical Israel. Mr. Israel Galili, the Minister Without Portfolio, has said that a majority of the Cabinet would be willing to use force to evict the Kaddum community if necessary.
Despite a government instruction that nothing further be done to make the settlement permanent, work has continued to improve the rough hilltop site. It is set in an area of rich Arab farmlands.
The settlers are members of the nationalist group Gush Emunim (Faith Block). They organised a march in April this year from Ramallah to Jericho and later announced plans to set up a settlement somewhere along the route. Since the 1967 Middle East war, 17 Israeli settlement sites have been established in the occupied West Bank.
SYNOPSIS: Nationalist Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank of the Jordan have threatened to defy a government decision to close their camp at Kaddum. They said they would not leave unless a better site was found in the same area.
The settlers are members of 'Gush Emunim' - a group that sees the West Bank as part of Israel. Two spokeswomen gave reasons for rejecting the government decision.