Jerusalem — The Israeli government is gearing itself for a big settlement drive on the occupied West Bank in its last five months before a general election this summer , government sources reported. Prime Minister Menachem Begin's government is expected to lose the July election to the opposition Labor Party. Supporters of the settlement program say they want to make it as difficult as possible for Labor to withdraw from the West Bank.
Meanwhile, about 300 settlers squatted on a West Bank hillside demanding the government build a settlement there. After first declaring the action as "illegal", the government later let them stay.