New proposals which would give Arabs and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, public services on a level equal with residents of Israel have been denounced by Israeli opposition leaders and local West Bank officials.
GV EXTERIOR Knesset
SV INTERIOR Opposition speaker debating proposals and Begin sitting listening. (3 shots)
SV Allon speaking (Labour Party Opposition)
SV Men on West Bank buying newspaper and newspaper headline. (3 shots)
CU Hebron Mayor speaking.
CU Ramallah Mayor speaking.
SV Begin (left) seated with Rabbi at press conference.
CU Begin speaking to press.
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 3: ALLON: "It seems to me that this ambitious plan of achieving complete equality between the citizens of Israel, Jews and Arabs alike and the inhabitants of the administered areas is such a big and ambitious plan and no one indicated where the resources would be received from and how this would be implemented, and what would be the political significance of it. Personally I feel that it was ill timed and not sufficiently explained."
SEQ. 5: HEBRON MAYOR FAHD KAWASME: "We refuse it, we refuse it and we will announce that we will refuse to be a part of Israel because we are Palestinian and we would like to be a Palestinian, and continue as Palestinians."
SEQ. 6: RAMALLAH MAYOR KARIM RHALEF: "And you know we are against this step and we protest against this one. But everyone in the whole world knows we are Palestinians living under the occupation where we are not allowed to vote but anyhow we would like from the whole world to support our cause and our right (indistinct) and we were taken by the Israelis by force. And we hope that Carter himself uses his influence and power on the Israelis to evacuate occupied territories."
SEQ. 8: BEGIN: "It has nothing to do with what people call politics. It is a humanitarian problem. We have people under our jurisdiction we should do our best to improve their lot. And this is exactly what we decided."
REPORTER: "There has been criticism by the Labour Party saying that this smacks of annexation. How do you react to those charges?"
BEGIN: "I said in Hebrew all those so called interpretations are without any justification. The government just took a decision which every man who believes in human progress and justice should help. We want to give the Arab population in Judiah, Sumaria, and the Gaza Strip public services. We want to do justice to the workers. We want them to live in better housing conditions. This is the context of the decision."
REPORTER: "Do you see this as the beginning of an Israeli adaptation of annexation?"
BEGIN: "There is no beginning whatsoever and I always remark that we can not annex Judiah, Sumaria, and the Gaza Strip".
Initials VS 00.45
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Background: New proposals which would give Arabs and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, public services on a level equal with residents of Israel have been denounced by Israeli opposition leaders and local West Bank officials. The proposals, which came as a surprise, were announced on Sunday (14 August) by the Prime Minister, Mr. Begin, following a Cabinet meeting. Mr. Begin said the Government intended to grant inhabitants of the territories equal rights, the same as those enjoyed by the residents of the State of Israel.
Reaction from the Soviet Union was also hostile. The official news agency said the Israeli decision can only be regarded as another step along the road to the annexation of the Israeli-occupied Arab territories, which it said the Israelis have no right. A spokesman from the Arab League said they would protest to the United Nations and Palestinian guerrilla groups said they would step up commando attacks in Israel.
The United States meanwhile has remained non-committal. A State Department spokesman said the legal implications of the Israeli decision had not been analyzed and could not yet comment.
SYNOPSIS: A debate on the Middle East situation in the Knesset was used by the opposition Labour Party to launch a bitter attack on the Begin proposals. Afterwards former Labour Party Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon explained his party's opposition to the plan.
In the occupied West Bank news of the decision was cooly received. Most hostile opinion came from the Arab municipal leaders. The Mayors of Hebron and Ramallah denounced the decision as a form of annexation.
Speaking to reporters on Monday (15 August) Mr. begin strongly denied any political motives in his decision.