In September 1967 the Arab League held a Conference at Khartoum to consider the issue. The Conference issued a statement which incorporated the phrase which came to be known as the “Three No’s of Khartoum” – “No peace, no negotiations, no recognition.” (See Khartoum Resolutions 1967.)
At this time Eshkol’s Deputy Prime Minister, Yigal Allon, who had been Commander of the Palmach commando force in the war of 1947-9 and a leading figure in the left-wing coalition which eventually became the Labour Party, proposed a plan for territorial compromise in the event of peace. The aim of the “Allon Plan” was to ensure that Israel would always be protected by a defensive barrier along the valley adjacent to the river Jordan and in the area to the south of Jerusalem. In practice, although the Plan never became official policy, and no map was published, under Labour governments permission for settlements was generally limited to the areas which Allon sought to retain.
After Eshkol’s death in 1969, the government of Golda Meir led a Labour government. The Meir government therefore allowed ten small settlements in the Jordan Valley and the rebuilding of four settlements in the “Etzion Bloc” south of Jerusalem which had been destroyed by the Jordanians in 1947. Settlements were also established in the Golan Heights after 1967 as a defensive barrier in the absence of peace with Syria.
In the absence of any prospect of a permanent peace treaty, the Meir government developed policies for a benevolent administration of the Territories in the hope that the inhabitants might find this preferable to the previous rule of Jordan and Egypt. The Israeli administrative presence was reduced to a minimum and funds were provided for infrastructure and economic development. (See article on Golda Meir for more detail).
The result was that between 1968 and 1972 agricultural production in the Territories more than doubled. Per capita income in the West Bank increased by 80% and unemployment in Gaza was reduced to about 2%.
All this occurred within the context of an official policy of opposition to the concept of a Palestinian state as part of any peace settlement, which Golda Meir announced and repeatedly explained. Israel and Jordan were the two state successors to the British Mandate, she noted, and
“there is no room for a third. The Palestinians must find the solution to their problem together with that Arab country, Jordan, because a Palestinian State between us and Jordan can only become a base from which it will become even more convenient to attack and destroy Israel.”