State Department On Israeli Settlements

(June 4, 1979)

On 22 April 1979 the Israel government approved a decision to give permanent status to the settlement of Elon Moreh, near Nablus. After renewed discussion in the cabinet, it confirmed its decision on 3 June. This time the cabinet authorized the seizure of 200 acres of land near the settlement. A day later the U.S. State Department spokesman reacted adversely to the decision. The issue of Israeli settlement was a major item in Israeli-U.S. high level talks, and was raised by Secretary Vance during his talks with Prime Minister Begin in May. Text:

We deeply regret the Israeli Government's action in approving this new settlement. Establishing new settlements is harmful to the peace process and is particularly regrettable at this time with the negotiations just beginning, which aim at establishing a new relationship between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza.

All parties have stressed their commitment to the peace process. We hope the parties will forgo any actions detrimental to the peace negotiations.

Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry