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Mideast Developments / Bethlehem Land #257977

CBS Evening News for Tuesday, May 23, 1978
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(Studio) Controversy over future of west bank in getting Mideast peace settlement mentioned. Report is on latest item involved in this issue, 80 thousand acres of land around Bethlehem.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite

(Jerusalem, Israel) Bethlehem residents' complaints that for 2 mos. Israelis haven't allowed transactions involving land owned by Palestinians living abroad, declaring land abandoned, detailed. Bethlehem Mayor Elias Friej's news conference for West media, in presence of town leaders, outlined; his call on defense minister Ezer Weizman to investigate allegations noted. [FRIEJ - says that if Israelis take over land of those living abroad, then there will be no land left for Palestinians to have homeland, as President Carter has advocated, or for Palestinian state, as they wish to have. Thinks it's clear that Israelis try to decrease Arab Palestinian population of west bank.] Defense minister's response to these chgs., fueled by recent report of unofficial defense minister plan to begin 6 new Jewish urban centers on west bank, stated. Details of reported plan given. Upcoming Israeli cabinet consideration of west bank's future noted.

Cronkite, Walter;
Simon, Bob

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