Jerusalem AreaA master plan establishing zoning and building limitations in the area around Jerusalem has alarmed Arab residents who fear that the new regulations are intended to facilitate widespread Jewish settlement activity. The plan, covering the area from Ramallah north of Jerusalem to Bethlehem in the south, has been approved by the Judaea-Samaria Supreme Planning Council. It will be published shortly in Arabic translation.

Sources said the plan took into account existing Jewish settlements but had nothing to do with future settlement plans. They said the main purpose was to provide adequate municipal services and preserve agricultural land. The East Jerusalem newspaper Al-Fajr said, however, that the “special areas” designated on a map accompanying the plan are intended for further Jewish settlement, especially the area near Bethlehem.