JERUSALEM (Aug. 14)
Israel’s Cabinet is currently discussing “the map of the Middle East, according to Israel’s ideas, when peace with the Arabs is achieved.” Foreign Minister Abba Eban declared here today. But, he added, the Government will not make its views on that subject public at this time, “keeping these views to itself until the time when direct negotiations with the Arab states begin.”
Making the announcement at a press conference. Mr. Eban declined to answer questions as to whether Arab statesmen had already put out feelers regarding peace talks with Israel. However, he said, the Arab statesmen are not yet ready to negotiate at this time. Such tendencies, he declared, will develop in the future because of pressures in an existing situation. “If faced with the alternative of negotiations or the prospect that Israel will not budge from the territories she now holds.” he observed, “they will eventually realize that they have to negotiate.”
Concerning the United States embargo on arms shipments to Israel. Mr. Eban said that “a dialogue with the United States is a necessity and is continuing in order to keep the Israeli army strong.”
Mr. Eban said that the August 31 deadline for the return of Arab refugees from Jordan to the Israeli-held west hank of the Jordan River. “should suffice, even for the stringent processing of the applications” from the would-be returnees. The first batch of applications from those refugees are already in Israel’s hands, he said, and processing of the applications has begun.
Jordanian efforts to incite against Israel the west bank refugees who wish to return to their homes is “intolerable,” an Israeli official told Nils-Goran Gussing. United Nations Secretary-General U Thant’s special representative for humanitarian affairs, it was learned here today.
Yosef Tekoah, the assistant director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, raised the issue with the U.N. official. Mr. Tekoah said that residents planning to return under an Israel agreement with Jordan and the International Red Cross, were being exhorted by Amman Radio to become a “nucleus of resistance” to Israeli rule. Informed sources here indicated that, if such incitement was not halted, Israel might demand a personal written commitment to civil obedience from each would-be returnee.