Five weeks after being told by the Israeli cabinet that they must leave their hilltop settlement at Kaddum, nearly 150 ultra-nationalist jews are still in no mood to move.
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Israeli Health Minister Victory Shemtov, a member of the left wing Mapam party, last week challenged Defence Minister Shimon Peres, a supporter of the settlement, in parliament. Mr. Shemtov, who last month, urged the government to shut the camp down immediately asked why the Laam faction of the opposition Likud party which backs jewish settlement in the occupied territories was allowed to hold a political meeting inside an army camp. The defence minister replied that the settlers were not properly part of the army camp.
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Background: Five weeks after being told by the Israeli cabinet that they must leave their hilltop settlement at Kaddum, nearly 150 ultra-nationalist jews are still in no mood to move.
SYNOPSIS: In fact living conditions for the settlers at the camp which adjoins an Israeli army camp, have much improved, and these women said they were in good spirits and had no plans to leave. The settlers are members of the Gush Emunim, faith bloc, which claims that jews may settle anywhere in biblical Israel. But on May the ninth. Arab and Israeli opponents to the settlement thought the conflict had been resolved when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said the settlers would not be allowed to stay more than a few weeks.
The Israeli army helped the settlers with running water, electricity and drainage - and there are plans to start a small industry on the site. Water is available on tap from a storage tank - the settlers held a party to celebrate the occasion - and now temporary lines take electricity from a generating station into the caravan homes. The settlers' opponents are wondering why, after the cabinet decided the settlement must go, the army is still providing assistance, and there have once more been questions about the issue in the Israeli parliament.
The camp is near the Arab town of Nablus where several people were killed in riots against Israeli security forces last month and many Israelis feel that the continuous inaction over the settlement will provoke another internal political crisis in Israel.