In Israel Arab mayors and members of Parliament (Knesset) attended a meeting in Nazareth on Saturday (17 February) to discuss the possibility of protest against what they describe as Israeli "seizure" of Arab land.
GV INTERIOR: diplomats and newsmen taking notes during meeting.
CU: Mayor of Nazareth Toufic Zaid speaking in Arabic.
SCU PAN: Israeli Knesset members Toufic Toubi, Meir Wilner and Meir Pa'il standing reading notes.
CU PAN AND GV: Zaid finishing speech and crowd applauding.
GV AND CU: another speaker at microphone (2 shots)
SV ZOOM OUT TO GV: speaker at microphone and man shouting from gallery.
SCU PAN TO GV: another speaker finishing speech and crowd applauding. (2 shots)
SV AND PAN TO GV: another speaker and crowd applauding.
According to Reuters news agency the decision on water was seen as a signal to negotiators at the forthcoming "Camp David Two" talks that Israel will not abandon its West Bank settlements. It was announced simultaneously with a statement on the composition of the Israeli delegation to the talks with Egypt and the United States, starting on Wednesday (21 February).
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Background: In Israel Arab mayors and members of Parliament (Knesset) attended a meeting in Nazareth on Saturday (17 February) to discuss the possibility of protest against what they describe as Israeli "seizure" of Arab land.
SYNOPSIS: Local observers say the Arab reaction has been triggered by the handing over of military land in occupied areas, apparently with civilian settlements in mind. One speaker at the meeting was the Mayor of Nazareth, Toufic Zaid.
Knesset members Toufic Toubi and Meir Wilmer of the Communist Party and Meir Pa'il of the Sheli Party also took part. Eventually a resolution was adopted to call a general strike on Land Day at the end of March.
Strikes of this nature are prohibited in Israel and shops which close, for example, risk confiscation by the authorities. Several other speakers put their point of view during the meeting and at one point a visitor shouted his contribution from the public gallery.
After a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday (18 February) in was announced that Israel has decided to pump water from the sea of Galilee to Jewish settlements on the West bank -- a move which observers regard as a sign that the settlements are permanent. No new settlements had yet been started, but again observers say there are indications of planning in this direction.