ISRAEL TO CONTINUE WEST BANK SETTLEMENTS
Amidst Western media speculation as to whether Egypt might withdraw from its sell-out talks in Washington if Israel did not agree in principle to the need for its ultimate withdrawal from all occupied Arab land, Zionist authorities have made it clear that they intend to expand their settlements in occupied Palestine and the Golan Heights.
At a rally in Tel Aviv on 26 October 1978, Prime Minister Begin declared: "The Jewish people have an unshakable right to settle anywhere within the land of Israel, in 'Judea and Samaria' (West Bank) and the Gaza Strip. This right has been exercised and will be exercised."
Israeli government officials later on pointed out that Begin was not reacting emotionally to the "fanatic rally" in Tel Aviv, but in fact "Begin only secured cabinet approval for a revised draft peace treaty with Egypt by agreeing to expand Jewish settlements on the West Bank and in the Syrian Golan Heights." ("AP" and "Reuter" 26 October 1978).
The Israeli cabinet has approved "plans for 700 new homes to be built on the West Bank. A new road is also to be built linking the settlements, and a large water storage tank is to be erected in the Golan Heights" ("The Times", 26 October 1978).
The U.S. government for its part has been giving placebo statements to save the image it has been trying to create of itself in the West as the "peacemaker" in the region whose sole interest is to see the respect of "human rights" in the Middle East.
Accordingly, US President Carter expressed his "concern" while White House spokesman Hodding Carter declared: "we are deeply disturbed but we can't comment on the issue." Nevertheless, despite his "concern", President Carter went ahead to press Egypt to sign the separate treaty with Israel. A treaty at whose expense?
The picture behind the smoke screen of US hypocritical statements and token Egyptian objections is that the so-called "peace treaty" is being concluded at the expense of the Arab and Palestinian people, and that occupation continues to form the cornerstone of Zionist policy.
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Originally published by The Palestine Liberation Organisation Unified Information as a bi-monthly information bulletin with copy permission granted via the notice "Partial or total reproduction is freely permitted by 'Palestine Bulletin'"
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