A 1969 memo to the Foreign Minister, reveals Israeli government awareness of the illegal nature of building settlements on lands allegedly seized for military needs.
In the memo, sent by MFA Deputy Director General Eliashiv Ben Horin, the deputy director demands strict secrecy regarding the lands’ seizure. “we feared that civilian groups, and in particular groups connected to the plan to build the yeshiva on the seized land, would cause unnecessary publicity, since this would contradict the objectives of the seizure as defined in the order,” stated Ben Horin. “The seizure for military needs can be easily defended from a legal point of view. Civilian enterprises are another thing entirely”, he added.
Ben Horin also wrote in the memo that was passed on to Prime Minister Golda Meir, that the Military Censor has blocked press reports regarding the land seizure.